LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Federal authorities seized more than 1 million counterfeit pills for erectile dysfunction that came from China during a recent inspection, investigators said Thursday.
Customs and Border Patrol along with Homeland Security Investigations seized the pills, along with counterfeit shoes, accessories and electronics, which were in three cargo container shipments from China to Los Angeles, investigators said.
The combined value of all the items is more than $32 million, officials said.
“Criminals are exploiting e-commerce platforms to sell counterfeit and often dangerous goods to unwitting holiday shoppers,” Carlos Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles, said in a statement.
“Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crimes,” David Prince, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles said. “Intellectual property theft amounts to economic sabotage, which is why HSI will aggressively pursue product counterfeiters and those who sell counterfeit products.”
Earlier this week, the I-Team reported on a nationwide push to catch counterfeit items related to the COVID-19 pandemic before they reach consumers. As the first coronavirus vaccines are distributed, investigators are concerned phony vaccines are next.
“Counterfeiters are focused on making a profit; they are not focused on consumer safety,” Donald R. Kusser, CBP port director of the LA/Long Beach Seaport, said. “Buying counterfeit goods can expose you and your family to health and safety risks while the proceeds support criminal enterprises.”
In the past few months, federal agencies have seized hundreds of thousands of fraudulent COVID-19 test kits, fake treatments, non-medical grade personal protective equipment and medication.