$2.4M in counterfeit items, 4 pounds of pot seized

$2.4M in counterfeit items, 4 pounds of pot seized

If you pay $40 for a $250 pair of jeans, there’s a good chance you aren’t getting the real thing.

The same goes for many of the knock-off sneakers, purses and clothes being sold at Metro Mart USA in southwest Atlanta, according to police. And there was more than high-priced sneakers, purses and clothes being sold in the market.

Vendors were also allegedly selling marijuana — some of it in plain view on the counter, Lt. Scott Kreher with Atlanta police said Tuesday. Eight people have been charged with selling the phony goods, police said.

Undercover officers began investigating May 17 after receiving complaints about counterfeit merchandise and marijuana being sold at the Metropolitan Parkway business, Kreher said. Manufacturers alerted police to the phony goods, he said.

Two weeks later, on May 31, officers returned to execute a search warrant at the business, including 17 booths inside, Kreher said. During that search, investigators seized more than $2,453,737 worth of counterfeit merchandise, four pounds of marijuana, two handguns and $3,634 in cash.

The counterfeit merchandise included Nike sneakers, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Coach and Gucci purses and handbags, True Religion jeans, and Ralph Lauren polo shirts, Officer John Chafee told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Those arrested were: Mounirou Ba, 49; Gregory Xzayiour Tibbs, 19; Oumar Saidou, 49; Mamadou Ba, 56; Hady Aly Kane, 53; Mei Hua Zheng, 35; Abu Bakarr Sowe, 36; and Thierno Mamadou Sow, 41.

All eight have been charged with felony forged or counterfeited trade, according to police. The suspects were all released from the Fulton County jail Sunday on bond amounts ranging from $3,000 to $5,000, booking records show.

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