springfield, nixa men plead guilty to trafficking counterfeit goods
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man and a Nixa, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to trafficking in counterfeit goods after federal agents seized hundreds of pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes and other counterfeit apparel from them.
Brent Darrell Luna, 25, of Nixa, and Lukas Antonio Rivas, 21, of Springfield, pleaded guilty in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to the charges contained in a July 28, 2010, federal indictment.
Luna and Rivas admitted that they sold counterfeit Nike athletic shoes and other counterfeit items at Luna’s Springfield store, 417 Urban Trendz. Undercover police officers purchased shoes and other items from Luna and Rivas on several occasions. Luna opened 417 Urban Trendz after he was released from state prison in July 2008. Prior to the store’s opening, the counterfeit goods were sold at other locations.
According to Luna’s plea agreement, during a call that was recorded while he was incarcerated on an unrelated state offense, Luna indicated that he had invested $75,000 in purchasing the shoes and other items from a supplier in China. Luna also referred to $29,000 worth of inventory that was stored in his garage.
Luna ordered the shoes over the Internet in small shipments of seven pairs, in order to avoid custom declarations or paying custom duties. The shipments were sent to different residences and labeled as gifts. Rivas received between 20 and 30 shipments of shoes at his residence.
By pleading guilty today, Luna and Rivas also agreed to forfeit to the government all of the counterfeit goods that were seized by law enforcement officers, including more than 600 pairs of Nike athletic shoes, 20 pairs of Timberland shoes, 45 NFL and National Basketball League jerseys, 67 Major League Baseball caps, dozens of jeans, shirts, belts, shoes, hoodies and other clothing items with designer labels, as well as $3,448.
Under federal statutes, Luna and Rivas are each subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2 million and an order of restitution. 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 Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.