Counterfeit Bust: $3 Million In Goods Seized At D.C. Farmers Market In Coordinated Effort

WASHINGTON -- Law enforcement officials seized nearly $3 million worth of counterfeit goods at the D.C. Farmers Market on the corner of 5th Street NE and Neal Place on Friday.

According to an announcement issued this week, special agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations directorate and D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department rounded up 18,640 pieces of illegal merchandise, which included items like purses, wallets, perfume, watches, hats, shoes, shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, pants, music, and movies.

Eleven people were arrested on state criminal charges for trademark counterfeiting, according to a statement:

Saidou Zongo, 41, was one of the 11 individuals arrested on criminal charges. He was residing in Silver Spring, Md., and has an outstanding INTERPOL notice from the Burkina Faso government for misappropriated funds.

"The trade in counterfeit goods robs Americans of jobs and costs legitimate businesses billions of dollars in revenue. This crime is often tied to other types of criminal activities in our area," said John P. Torres, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Washington, D.C. "ICE HSI investigations focus on the traffickers and criminal organizations behind this illicit activity."

The D.C. Farmers Market is part of the larger Florida Avenue market complex near Gallaudet University.