(BROOKVILLE) - Indiana State Excise Police officers arrested 14 people and seized thousands of counterfeit items Wednesday morning after a month-long investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods at a Brookville flea market.
Corporal Travis Thickstun says that officers began their investigation after a citizen tip that counterfeit goods were allegedly being sold at White's Sale Barn, 6032 Holland Road, in Brookville - 75 miles southeast of Indianapolis and 30 miles northwest of Cincinnati. The flea market is open on Wednesdays from daylight until 12:00 p.m. with more than 400 vendors and generally has 6,000 to 8,000 customers.
During their investigation, excise officers discovered more than a dozen locations within the flea market that sold counterfeit DVD's, shoes, jackets, boots, purses, sunglasses, handbags and NBA/NFL jerseys. The people operating the booths represented the products as authentic when, in fact, they were not. Some of the DVD's included movies only in theatres and not yet available for retail sale.
Everyone arrested today was preliminarily charged with counterfeiting, a class C felony. Additional charges related to fraud, also a felony, are possible. Only those operating booths selling these counterfeit products were arrested. The owner of White's Sale Barn was not charged with any crime.
Today's arrests follow other counterfeiting and fraud investigations by excise officers in Evansville, Gary, Hammond, Indianapolis and other cities. Last month, excise officers arrested four people on 11 felony charges after investigations at three stores in Evansville and Indianapolis uncovered thousands of bootleg DVD's.
"The illegal sale of counterfeit products cheats legitimate businesses out of income," Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. "The State Excise Police will continue to investigate any location known to be selling counterfeit products."
Excise officers were assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and Franklin County Prosecutor's Office.
Anyone with information concerning counterfeit goods can contact the excise police at 812-523-8314.
As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana's Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.
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