Mill Creek Man Charged with Importing Drug Paraphernalia and Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods
Wholesaler Supplied Counterfeit Goods to Small Retail Stores
A Mill Creek, Washington man was arrested today on a criminal complaint charging him with importing drug paraphernalia and trafficking in counterfeit goods following a multi-year investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. JAE SEON YOON, (AKA: Jason YOON), 55, is the president or vice-president of multiple companies doing business in Washington State: J&J, Inc. (d/b/a “Top Wholesale, Inc.”), Smomax, Inc. (d/b/a “346 Glass Pipe/Master Trading”) and Three People Corp. (d/b/a/ “Cigar USA”). The criminal complaint alleges YOON imported and distributed drug paraphernalia and other goods with counterfeit markings that made them appear to be from established suppliers. YOON allegedly used stickers with Seahawks and other NFL team logos to increase the price of the drug paraphernalia he sold. YOON was arrested this morning as part of a search of three properties where law enforcement believes the counterfeit goods were being stored. YOON will appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 2:30 Wednesday July 8, 2015.
According to the criminal complaint, YOON imported drug paraphernalia from China, sometimes via Canada, by marking them as vases, laboratory glassware, or oil and vinegar dispensers. Multiple shipments were seized by law enforcement. While the items were made in China, they were falsely marked with the logos of companies who manufacture similar goods in Germany and Canada. YOON also imported e-cigarettes and chargers which bore counterfeit Underwriters Lab (U/L) markings. U/L is an American worldwide safety consulting and certification company that provides safety standards for electrical devices and components. YOON’s companies then sold the counterfeit items to small “mom and pop” type retail stores.
The criminal complaint describes how YOON also imported counterfeit Seahawks logo stickers to stick on items to increase their value, and how he trafficked in “Hello Kitty” logo items despite being served with a cease and desist letter by the registered trademark owner.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marci Ellsworth.