LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Thousands of counterfeit Nike shoes, worth an estimated $2.2 million, have been seized at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport, federal officials said Wednesday.
Authorities discovered the 14,806 pairs of shoes on a shipment arriving from China. Customs and Border Protection officers say they were mislabeled as “napkins” in an attempt to disguise the illicit cargo.READ MORE: LA County Sheriff's Employee Killed, Woman Hurt After Vintage Sports Car Careens Into Pole In Temple City
Import specialists and officials from Nike confirmed the shoes were in violation of the Air Jordan 1 Off-White Air, Air Jordan 12, Air Jordan 1 in blue, black, red and white; Air Jordan 11 and Air Max ’97. These special edition and retro styles are highly coveted by collectors and sport shoes enthusiasts. A legitimate pair can sell for between $1,500 and $2,000 online, federal officials said.READ MORE: Beach Erosion Suspends All Metrolink, Amtrak Service Between OC, San Diego
Some of the shoes seized looked obviously fake, with “AIR” printed on the sides of the shoes with quotes around them, underneath a Nike swish that appeared to be both taped and sewn on.
Such a shipment of genuine shoes would be worth more than $2.2 million.MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed To Death At Homeless Encampment Near Brentwood While Trying To Intervene In Domestic Dispute
“Counterfeit brand-name shoes is a multi-million dollar criminal industry. The trafficking of these items is extremely lucrative and becomes more profitable in markets involving successful and popular products,” LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Customs and Border Protection Port Director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport, said in a statement.