Inver Grove Heights Man Indicted For Trafficking In Counterfeit Sports Jerseys
MINNEAPOLIS—The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that a federal grand jury recently indicted a man on charges of conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods. Brian Todd Gore, 45, of Inver Grove Heights, made his initial appearance on July 11, 2014 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeanne J. Graham.
The indictment alleges that from November 2009 through September 2012, Gore conspired with other individuals to traffic in goods, specifically counterfeit sports jerseys, imported from China. As part of the alleged conspiracy, Gore would order the counterfeit sports jerseys from suppliers in China, have them delivered to him in the United States, and then sell them to Co- conspirator A with the knowledge that the counterfeit jerseys would be sold to the public.
During this time, Co-conspirator A possessed hundreds of counterfeit sportswear items in his retail store in Roseville, Minnesota, some of which he had purchased from the defendant. The indictment further alleges that the defendant transported hundreds of counterfeit jerseys in his van and stored counterfeit jerseys at his residence in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota and in a leased storage unit in Des Moines, Iowa.
In February 2010, the defendant traveled to Miami, Florida, the location of the 2010 NFL Super Bowl, to sell counterfeit NFL jerseys. During that time, the defendant allegedly possessed approximately 383 counterfeit NFL jerseys and two DHL shipping receipts showing packages sent from China to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The defendant and Co-conspirator B also allegedly possessed approximately 70 counterfeit NFL jerseys at an apartment where they were temporarily residing in Fort Lauderdale.
United States Attorney Andrew Luger praised the work of federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations, stating “I am pleased that HSI is pursuing these counterfeit cases. We will prosecute those who traffic in counterfeit goods aggressively.”
“Trafficking in counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Netherland of HSI St. Paul. “Buying these items may appear at first to be a bargain, but when we take into account how the money it generates is often tied to organized crime or worse, we see that this 'victimless crime' harms us all in the long run."
If convicted, Gore faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. All sentences are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) and the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos (“CAPS”). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah E. Hudleston.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.