By Mana Rabiee
As the holiday shopping season gets in gear, local and state law enforcement have targeted the D.C. area's illegal counterfeit goods trade.
Nearly 14,000 counterfeit items totaling $1.7 million worth of goods were seized in the D.C. area during a week-long crackdown called Operation Holiday Hoax. It was part of a nationwide effort by immigration and customs enforcement and other agencies spanning more than 40 locations.
The operation netted $26 million worth of counterfeit goods across the country. Most of the items were put on the black market for holiday shoppers. Special Agent John Torres heads the region's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, known as ICE.
"We're very concerned with consumer product safety, especially this time of year when you look at Christmas ornaments, lighting which for example could be substandard, which could lead to a hazard such as a fire on a Christmas tree," says Torres.
Torres says the local operation focused on two locations: one in Woodbridge, Virginia and a farmers market in D.C.