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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JUNE 26, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


BLUE SPRINGS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TRAFFICKING

IN COUNTERFEIT GOODS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Blue Springs, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to selling counterfeit athletic shoes, sports jerseys and handbags at several area retail businesses.


            Jehad R. H. Shalabi, 40, a permanent residence alien of Jordan who resides in Blue Springs, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this afternoon to the charges contained in an Aug. 8, 2008, federal indictment.


            Shalabi admitted that he trafficked in counterfeit versions of trademarked high-end and expensive goods, which were sold at several locations in the metropolitan area, including KC Cellular and Tobacco at 10420 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City; Grandview Enterprises at 1521 Main St. Grandview, Mo., Discount Tobacco and Cellular at 2601 Independence Ave., Kansas City, Mo., and Nate’s Swap Meet in Raytown, Mo. Among the counterfeit products that were being sold, or that were seized by law enforcement agents while executing search warrants at Shalabi’s residence and vehicles as well as the businesses, were Nike-labeled shoes, Reebok-labeled jerseys, Mitchell and Ness-labeled jerseys, Louis Vuitton-labeled handbags and Lacoste-labeled shirts.


            According to today’s plea agreement, the retail value of the counterfeit goods exceeded $120,000.


            By pleading guilty today, Shalabi also agreed to forfeit to the government $3,500 that was seized by law enforcement officers, which represents proceeds from trafficking in counterfeit goods.


            Under federal statutes, Shalabi could be subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2 million, on each of the six counts to which he pleaded guilty. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Alexander Menzel, Jr. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html