Fear not sneakerheads of New York City! The boys in blue have just saved you from one of the biggest counterfeit sneaker operations to hit the Big Apple. The NYPD, working in conjunction with Homeland Security, have arrested five suspects over the importation of 385,280 pairs of fake Air Jordans between January 2016 and March 2018. According to investigators, the bust involved a staggering $73 million in knock-off merchandise, based on a retail price of $190 for an authentic pair.
The complex operation, which included 42 shipping containers, involved the importation of bootleg Jays mimicking the real deal in all but trademarked branding. Those details were added once the fake merchandise hit US soil, at locations in Brooklyn and Queens.
Over the course of eight months, investigators examined almost 27,000 pairs of sneakers before pulling the pin on the whole operation. Suspects Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen and Fangrang Qu face up to 20 years in prison each for their involvement in the counterfeit ring.
Manhattan US attorney Geoffery S. Berman said the case sends a clear message to any would-be counterfeiters: 'Just don't do it.'