Cranston Police Make Arrests for Possession and Sale of Counterfeit Merchandise
Cranston – On November 2, 2016 the Cranston Police Department Detective Division received information that a male subject would be selling a large quantity of counterfeit merchandise at a yard sale on November 4, 2016 in the City of Cranston. Detectives identified a suspect and located the yard sale as 45 Cliffdale Avenue.
Upon further investigation, it was learned that one of the suspects, Stephen Russell, age 42, would be transporting this merchandise to the location of the yard sale in a Ford Transvan. Cranston Detectives located the suspect vehicle parked in front of 45 Cliffdale Ave, Cranston and observed the rear door of the van to be open, displaying several boxes of merchandise in plain view. The front lawn of the residence and the sidewalk in front of the property contained several tables, where merchandise was also being openly displayed for sale.
Members of Power & Associates – Intellectual Property Investigators, were also on scene and were able to identify the merchandise as being counterfeit trademarked merchandise. Included in the merchandise were glasses, handbags, clothing, jackets, hats, scarves, belts, perfumes, shoes, boots, headbands, and gloves. Counterfeit brands included: Gucci, True Religion, North Face, Jordan, Timberland, Tory Burch, Oakley, Ray Ban, Cartier, Uggs, Under Armour, Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Michael Kors, Prada, Burberry, MCM, Versace, Fendi, Hermes, Ferragamo, Harley Davidson, Coach, and Ed Hardy, as well as assorted sports team logo merchandise. It is estimated that if the items seized were authentic and sold in the legitimate market place, the total value would be approximately $1,000,000.
The following suspects were taken into custody and arraigned at Cranston Police Headquarters on charges of Forgery, Counterfeiting, or Alteration of Trademark, Service mark, or Identification mark Conspiracy to commit the aforementioned offenses:
Stephen M. Russell, age 42, of 130 Sweet Ave Pawtucket, RI
Ryan D. Peirce, age 28, of 40 Myrtle St. Pawtucket, RI
Robert F. Brown, III, age 39, of 129 Sweet Ave Pawtucket, RI
Colonel Winquist stated, “Often the sale of counterfeit trademark merchandise is overlooked and viewed by many as a victimless crime. It is a felony offense and the monetary loss absorbed by the legitimate manufacturers of these items is passed on to the consumer. Furthermore, it has been proven that criminals involved in this activity use the sale of counterfeit merchandise to fund other illegal activities including narcotics trafficking and even terrorism. The distribution operation dismantled today was significant.”