Feds Have Seized 326,000 Pieces of Fake Sports Memorabilia Since Last Super Bowl

Image:Super Bowl XLIX logo
A jersey with the name and number of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, which features the Super Bowl XLIX logo, hangs on the racks at Olympia Sports in Medford, Mass., Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. Charles Krupa / AP file

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It’s a Super Bowl tradition: Federal customs agents announce their haul of fake NFL merchandise.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday that its crews have seized more than 326,000 pieces of fake sports memorabilia and other counterfeit items since the last Super Bowl. In all, it’s worth $19.5 million.

ICE targets international shipments of counterfeit merchandise and identifies warehouses, stores, flea markets, online dealers and street vendors who sell it. Its agents seize fake jerseys, ball caps, T-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs.

Law enforcement officers have made 52 related arrests. The operation continues through Feb. 6, five days after Super Bowl XLIX.


— Pete Williams