U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists seized 15 parcels containing counterfeit sports jerseys of the NFL, NBA and MLB with an estimated value of $25,534 in shipments to Los Angeles and Ontario international airports this month.

CBP officers said they discovered the unlicensed merchandise at air cargo consignment locations at LAX and ONT during a string of seizures in the last three weeks. The confiscated jerseys had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $61,333, according to CBP.

“Counterfeit sports apparel typically looks similar to brand name jerseys but are cheaper and of poorer quality,” said Carlos Martel, CBP acting director of field operations in Los Angeles. “CBP officers and import specialists are highly specialized on product identification, detection and interception of trademark violators.”

Customs officials say that the theft of intellectual property and the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens America’s innovation based economy, the competitiveness of its businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and, in some cases, national security and the health and safety of consumers.

In Fiscal Year 2009, CBP officials said nearly 15,000 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods with a domestic value of $270.7 million were intercepted at U.S. ports of entry.

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