U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement put on display a sample of the 700,000 counterfeit items that were seized during Operation Holiday Hoax -- a week-long nationwide crackdown on the illegal retail trade which netted nearly $1.7 million worth of counterfeit items in the D.C. area.
By Mana Rabiee
Law enforcement officers say a seizure of counterfeit goods at a popular farmers market in D.C. is just the start of an "unprecedented" crackdown on the illegal retail trade.
A farmers market may not be the typical location for organized crime activity but that's just what law enforcement say occurred at the D.C. Farmers Market on Florida Ave near 6th Street Northeast.
The seizure netted nearly 12,000 counterfeit items with a street value of almost $1.5 million.
It was part of Operation Holiday Hoax -- a joint effort by local and federal agencies to crackdown on counterfeit goods during the holiday shopping season.
Special Agent John Torres oversaw the operation in D.C.
"This is just the first phase of the investigation. We usually start with the seizures and we now have a number of leads to focus our investigation on the organizations that actually bring these items into the country," says Torres.
A spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement says no local arrests were made.
In a separate seizure, nearly $300,000 in counterfeit items were found at a Hi-Mart in Woodbridge, Virginia.