Adama Sow, 38, and Abdulai Jalloh, 48, were charged on Wednesday morning for allegedly trafficking counterfeit goods on a massive scale out of a Manhattan storage facility from January through October of 2023, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
The seizure took place at the aforementioned New York City location, where authorities confiscated a staggering 219,000 different fake items. These items have been appraised at a combined retail value of $1.03 billion, making it the largest recorded counterfeit goods seizure in U.S. history.
Sow and Jalloh are accused of operating the inner-city storage facility and selling the counterfeit fashion items from there, as well as from several other separate locations. The two individuals were brought before a judge who set their bonds at $1 million for Sow and $500,000 for Jalloh, according to court records cited by CNN.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams expressed his office's commitment to combating counterfeit trafficking in New York City, stating, "This is a testament to the commitment of this Office and its law enforcement partners to combat counterfeit trafficking in New York City," as reported in the press release.
If convicted of the counterfeit trafficking charges, Sow and Jalloh could face a maximum sentence of a decade in federal prison, the attorney's office noted.
This significant seizure and subsequent arrests highlight the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to crack down on counterfeit goods, protecting consumers and legitimate businesses from the harmful effects of counterfeit trade.