Bootleg Dior Air Jordan 1s have once been seized by U.S. Customs as part of a $32-million haul of counterfeit goods taken in Long Beach, California. Feds intercepted a small fishing vessel on the beach and found fake goods including sneakers, Viagra pills, belts, car emblems and headphones.
In images shared to Twitter by the Los Angeles field director for Customs and Boarder Patrol, you can see fugazi kicks that also include the Ben & Jerry "Chunky Dunky," Maison Chateau Rouge Air Jordan 1 Mid, Yeezy 350 Boost V2 — and most curiously, the classic all-white Air Force 1 Low. The rest of the shoes make sense, as they've all been sold out for long and command high resale prices. But who's picking up the fake version of a sneaker readily available for just $90?
"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 in a statement. "Buying counterfeit goods can expose you and your family to health and safety risks while the proceeds support criminal enterprises."
Bootleg kicks are seized often — Earlier this year, CBP agents in Texas intercepted a shipment that included more than 1,800 pairs of counterfeit Dior Air Jordan 1s worth more than $3 million alone. The vessel originated in Hong Kong and was destined for Mexico. Authorities also found fake Nike Joyrides and pairs from Adidas' Yeezy line. Jesus Haynes, a supervisory customs and border protection officer, told Input the seized good would be destroyed because they "were not made by an authorized manufacturer, lack the quality controls that would otherwise be provided by the manufacturer, and are likely made with inferior materials."
Other high profile seizures in recent years have seen Off-White Air Jordan 1s, Balenciaga shoes that read "Balenciago," and Mickey Mouse Adidas all taken by the Feds. Counterfeit sneakers are a legitimate issue, but you have to admit it's funny to see the U.S. government release official images of bootleg hyped sneakers and spelling out brands like Off-White. For those who don't often come across fake kicks, it's also amusing to see just how poor the quality is.
"Intellectual property theft is a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety,” Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles, said in a release last year. “CBP is the frontline that protects American ingenuity, without any doubt, one of the most valuable assets of our country."
Overall, the CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing counterfeit goods in fiscal 2020. Based on the value if the items were authentic, the total estimated value is nearly $1.3 billion.