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Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ivan J. Arvelo, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Edward A. Caban, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the recent seizures of approximately 219,000 counterfeit bags, clothes, shoes, and other luxury products with a total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (“MSRP”) of approximately $1.03 billion. Two indictments were unsealed today charging ADAMA SOW and ABDULAI JALLOH, a/k/a “Troy Banks,” with trafficking in counterfeit goods. The defendants were arrested this morning and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger. SOW’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni. JALLOH’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, the defendants used a Manhattan storage facility as a distribution center for massive amounts of knock-off designer goods. The seizures announced today consist of merchandise with over a billion dollars in estimated retail value, the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history. This is a testament to the commitment of this Office and its law enforcement partners to combat counterfeit trafficking in New York City.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo said: “Today's groundbreaking announcement underscores the unwavering commitment of HSI New York in the fight against intellectual property theft and serves as a testament to the dedication of our team and partner agencies, who have tirelessly pursued justice, culminating in the largest-ever seizure of this kind. I extend my gratitude to all those involved for their relentless efforts and late nights dedicated to upholding the law.”
NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban said: “The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers. Today’s indictments show how seriously the NYPD and our federal partners take this offense. And we will continue to work hard to hold accountable anyone who seeks to benefit by selling such items on the black market.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictments and other publicly available information:
From about January 2023, up to and including October 20, 2023, ADAMA SOW and ABDULAI JALLOH ran large-scale counterfeit goods trafficking operations out of a storage facility located in Manhattan. JALLOH also trafficked counterfeit goods out of an offsite location in Manhattan. Searches of premises controlled by SOW have resulted in the seizure of over 83,000 counterfeit items with a total estimated MSRP of over $502 million. Searches of premises controlled by JALLOH have resulted in the seizure of over 50,000 counterfeit items with a total estimated MSRP of over $237 million.
A photograph of boxes of counterfeit goods seized from the storage facility is below.
A photograph of one of the storage units controlled by ADAMA SOW inside the storage facility is below.
A photograph of one of the storage units controlled by ABDULAI JALLOH inside the storage facility is below.
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ADAMA SOW, 38, of Queens, New York, and ABDULAI JALLOH, 48, of New York, New York, are each charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The statutory maximum penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of HSI and NYPD. He further thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for its assistance and the management of the storage facility in Manhattan for its cooperation with the execution of the seizures.
The cases are being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Ross is in charge of the prosecutions.
The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 The street value of counterfeit goods typically is significantly lower than the MSRP.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictments and the description of the Indictments set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.