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U.S. Authorities Break Huge Counterfeit Goods Ring In Maryland

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BALTIMORE (AP) Nine people have been indicted on charges of smuggling 120,000 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes and half a million counterfeit Coach handbags through the Port of Baltimore.

According to the 72-count federal indictment announced Friday, undercover officers infiltrated the massive operation in 2008, delivering a shipment of 10,000 Nike shoes to Brooklyn, N.Y. The arrests came this week.

The products were mostly manufactured in Malaysia and China. Three U.S. citizens are charged with smuggling, trafficking counterfeit goods and money laundering. Four Chinese citizens and two Malaysians also are charged.

Officials say the investigation also led to the arrests Thursday of six men in London, in what authorities are calling one of their biggest counterfeit goods busts.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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