Rhode Island State Police Arrests Johnston Man for Possession of Forged, Counterfeit and Altered Trademark Merchandise Valued in Excess of One Hundred Twelve Thousand Dollars ($112,000.00)

Rhode Island – Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces that earlier this morning members of the Rhode Island State Police – Detective Division arrested Richard Rufo, age 47, of 989 Atwood Avenue, Johnston, Rhode Island for Forgery, Counterfeiting & Altered Trademarks violations and Possession of Marijuana – 1 Ounce – 1 Kilogram.
On February 15, 2016, members of the Mansfield, Massachusetts Police Department arrested Mr. Rufo who was reportedly selling counterfeited, bootlegged and trademark-infringed merchandise at a Sportscard & Memorabilia event held at the Mansfield Holiday Inn. The investigation was initiated by Powers and Associates of Forestdale, Massachusetts. Powers and Associates is a licensed and bonded intellectual property investigation agency that works for trademark owners as part of an ongoing anti-counterfeiting campaign for the purposes of identifying manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of counterfeit products. As a result of this investigation, Mr. Rufo was found to be in possession of more than three hundred (300) counterfeit items with an estimated Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). Mansfield Police Department charged Mr. Rufo with Forgery & Counterfeiting Merchandise offenses and narcotics violations. The investigation continued into Rhode Island when investigators determined that Mr. Rufo stored additional counterfeit merchandise at a warehouse located at 2 Esmond Street, Smithfield, Rhode Island. On February 15, 2016, a court-authorized search warrant was obtained authorizing members of the Rhode Island State Police to execute a search of the warehouse. Located and seized from the warehouse were a total of one thousand one hundred and sixty-four (1,164) counterfeit items with an estimated MSRP value in excess of one hundred twelve thousand dollars ($112,000).
The counterfeit merchandise included assorted clothing, footwear and handbags. The federally registered trademarks included Nike, Puma, Adidas, North Face, Ugg Australia, Michael Kors, Timberland, Coach, DC Comics, True Religion, Burberry, Polo-Ralph Lauren, Monster Energy, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League.
Mr. Rufo was arraigned at Third District Court, 222 Quaker Lane, Warwick, Rhode Island before The Honorable Associate Judge Pamela Wood-Pfeiffer and released on $10,000 surety bail.
A person found guilty of a Forgery, Counterfeiting & Altered Trademark felony and upon conviction may be imprisoned up to five (5) years and fined up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000). A person found guilty of Possession of Marijuana – 1 Ounce -1 Kilogram and upon conviction may be imprisoned up to one (1) year and fined up to five hundred dollars ($500).

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