Longshoreman running $200,000,000 Counterfeit RIng busted at Port Newark New Jersey

MJMANDALAY

Registered User
Jan 26, 2005
13,145
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#1
The longshoreman set the ground rules with the smugglers when they hatched the scheme back in the summer of 2006: No drugs and no weapons.

But the dock worker was willing to sneak bogus designer merchandise, like handbags, jeans and sneakers, from China into the United States through the ports in Newark, Elizabeth and Staten Island.

In the course of a year, the longshoreman helped the smugglers navigate more than 100 cargo containers carrying more than $200 million worth of counterfeit goods through the port inspection system.

And the smugglers made it worthwhile -- paying the longshoreman more than $500,000 in bribes. They held meetings at restaurants in Hoboken and Linden, at a club in Elizabeth, at a smuggler's home in Jersey City and at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Their relationship grew so close that the longshoreman even attended one smuggler's wedding in Union Township on Nov. 4.

As it turned out, the longshoreman wasn't corrupt, but instead was an undercover agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement posing as a union official in the International Longshoremen's Association. The agent's work was detailed in a 52-page criminal complaint that authorities issued yesterday when they arrested 10 people allegedly involved in the smuggling ring.

"For over a year, this international smuggling organization engaged in a scheme designed to evade our border security controls," Michael Garcia, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a written statement yesterday. "It is always deeply troubling when a criminal enterprise seeks to circumvent our port security."

Among those arrested were a port broker whose federal license gave him access to a confidential database about cargo shipments, and a Brooklyn couple whose trucking company charged premium rates to haul goods that they knew were counterfeit, authorities said.

At times during the past year, one of the smugglers mentioned to the undercover agent the possibility of smuggling military technology to China, according to the criminal charges. The smuggler also suggested sneaking an undocumented alien from China to the United States.

But the court documents do not indicate whether anything more came of those discussions. Yusill Scribner, a spokeswomen for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, declined to provide information about the case beyond what was included in documents released yesterday.

The criminal complaint outlines an operation in which the undercover agent played the role to the fullest, even taking a hard line in negotiating payoffs, which sometimes ranged from $10,000 to $15,000 per cargo container.

When one smuggler asked for help getting clearance on two shipping containers that authorities had set aside for special inspections, the undercover agent raised the price to $55,000 per box. Another time, when a smuggler shorted the agent $3,700 on a $20,000 payoff, the undercover officer made an issue of it and received the extra cash.

In many instances, customs officers, who were in on the investigation, searched the containers that the ring was smuggling into the country, found the counterfeit goods and allowed them to pass through so the smugglers would think the agent posing as the longshoreman was succeeding in getting their goods through inspections.

Authorities would not say exactly how much bogus merchandise ended up being sold to consumers as a result of that tactic, but they acknowledged it did happen in some cases.

The counterfeiting ring routinely concealed their goods by submitting bogus shipping documents. In one case, for example, a container loaded with counterfeit Nike sneakers was listed as carrying noodles.

Three of the 10 people arrested are New Jersey residents: Grace Quezon, 38, of Jersey City, whose wedding the undercover agent attended; Wing Ki Lee, 36, also of Jersey City; and Dick Ong, 37, of Bergenfield. They and the seven others -- who are from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens -- were charged with conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States and trafficking in counterfeit goods.
 

Fuck Crosby

Bills. Beers. Broads.
Feb 8, 2006
1,674
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Rochester
#3
I still better be getting my Air Force Ones from China