MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As thousands of excited football fans flock to South Florida for this weekend’s Super Bowl, law enforcement is on the lookout for those who would take advantage of them by peddling counterfeit goods.
Miami police say during an area canvass for counterfeit NFL items on Tuesday, officers spotted some items that caught their interest at Greene Dreams Shoe Repair on NW 67th Street.
Inside the store, police say there were various NFL, NBA, and MLB jerseys and hats that appeared to be authentic licensed merchandise.
Turns out they were not, according to a representative from the NFL who was brought in to determine if they were the real deal.
He found nearly 70 style NFL shirts, 13 NFL style jerseys, 38 style NFL hats, that were counterfeit along with 39 NBA style shirts, 10 NBA style jerseys, and 6 NBA style hats, according to police.
Tyrone Greene, 57, the owner of the store, gave investigators permission to search the stock room.
There they found “41 San Francisco and Kansas City hats and 41 NFL Kansas City shirts and 2 NFL jerseys with a total value at approximately $11,125.00 in retail value,” according to Greene’s arrest report.
Greene’s been charged with one count of possession/sale of counterfeit goods.
Greene wasn’t the only arrest.
On Wednesday, Eric Clinkscale, 48, and Matthew Howard were arrested after an undercover detective spotted them with unlicensed NBA shirts featuring the image of Kobe Bryant at a Chevron gas station at 4100 NW 27th Avenue.
In addition to the counterfeit NBA shirts, there were also NFL shirts featuring images for the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, along with a heat press machine with numerous preprint heat transfers sticking out of a cardboard box, according to police. The preprints in the box were for the Kobe Bryant image.
When asked if they were for sale, Clinkscale said “Yes, for twenty dollars,” according to his arrest report.
Howard, who identified himself as the owner of the food mart, denied selling any shirts at the business despite what Clinkscale told the detective, according to police.
Both were arrested and charged with possession/sale of counterfeit goods.
Authorities showed off some of what they seized over the past 12 months. It totaled over $123 million worth of fake jerseys jewelry and hats and if you
are still trying to snag a ticket to the big game, they warn to make sure you are buying the real deal.
Authorities said most of the fake NFL merchandise came from China.
They said consumers need to be aware when they are buying merchandise that it is authentic NFL goods. Legitimate jerseys and hats have specific markings and are
“Use common sense and be conscious of the data you provide to individuals who may be selling counterfeit goods,” said Steve Francis with Operation Team Player.
To stop counterfeit goods from coming into the country, the NFL has partnered with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Operation Team Player, an ongoing effort targeting counterfeit Super Bowl tickets and sports-related merchandise illegally imported into the United States.