FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Two men are facing charges in Florence County for allegedly trafficking in more than $500,000 in counterfeit goods, authorities said.
Some of the items included trademarks for Adidas, Apple, Beats by Dre, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dior, Gucci, NBA and NFL licensed apparel, Luis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo, Timberland and Versace, according to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.
Keith Maurishell Rose, 39, of Florence, and Aly Sallah, 44, of Tukwila, Washington, were arrested on Saturday after sheriff’s office investigators and the South Carolina Secretary of State conducted a compliance check at the Florence Flea Market on East Palmetto Street, the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators, accompanied by a trademark expert, found counterfeit items for sale at at least two locations at the flea market, the sheriff’s office said.
Both men were booked into the Florence County Detention Center. Rose was released after posting a $16,000 bond. Sallah remained in jail Monday afternoon on a $5,000 bond, according to online jail records.
According to the sheriff’s office, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates that the estimated cost of intellectual property theft to the U.S. economy exceeds $225 billion annually. Some estimates place it as high as $600 million.
In 2020, the sheriff’s office said the Library of Congress reported that about 80% of all counterfeit goods are made in China and that 60% to 80% of these goods are bought by Americans.
“Not only does the counterfeit merchandise harm legitimate businesses, but it hurts consumers who purchase inferior and even dangerous products,” the sheriff’s office said. “Moreover, merchandise trafficking funds organized crime and terrorism.”
Additional arrests and charges are possible, the sheriff’s office said.
No additional information was immediately available.
Count on News13 for updates.