A special NYPD investigative unit working with federal agents arrested four men suspected of running a lucrative smuggling ring that brought in hundreds of thousands of fake Apple watches, iPhones, Bose speakers and other electronic items from China, officials said.
Armed with search warrants, detectives and federal agents seized more than 20,000 fake items with a retail value of at least $2.6 million at a storage facility in Queens and at the main suspect’s home, NYPD inspector John Denesopolis, commander of the newly formed criminal enterprise investigations unit, told reporters Wednesday.
Police received a tip from an informant working with the Department of Homeland Security that a shipping container packed with counterfeit items was coming into Port Newark. Detectives followed the container going to Cube Smart Self Storage, 41-06 Delong St. in Queens, and watched as the main suspect, Minjian Hu, 28, of Fresh Meadows, and the other suspects began unloading items into the storage room, Denesopolis said.
During the investigation, police uncovered evidence that Hu put fake Apple and other logos on the items and sold them on the Internet and at flea markets in New Jersey, making about $45,000 a week, Denesopolis said, adding the products were sold at a steep discount from regular retail prices.
Hu and the other three men were being prosecuted by the Queens district attorney’s office and charged with trademark counterfeiting in the second degree and related offenses, said officials.