Indiana State Excise Police officers arrested 14 and seized thousands of counterfeit items Wednesday morning, Sept. 11, after a monthlong investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods at a Brookville flea market, said Cpl. Travis Thickstun, ISEP, Indianapolis, public information officer.
"Excise officers began their investigation after a citizen tip that counterfeit goods were allegedly being sold at White’s Sale Barn, 6032 Holland Road, Brookville," he explained. The flea market is open Wednesdays from daylight until noon with more than 400 vendors and generally has 6,000-8,000 customers.
During their investigation, excise officers discovered more than a dozen locations within the flea market that sold counterfeit DVDs, shoes, jackets, boots, purses, sunglasses, handbags and NBA and NFL jerseys. According to Thickstun, "The people operating the booths represented the products as authentic when, in fact, they were not." Some of the DVDs included movies only in theaters and not yet available for retail sale.
Everyone arrested was preliminarily charged with counterfeiting, a Class C felony. The officer noted, "Additional charges related to fraud, also a felony, are possible. Only those operating booths selling these counterfeit products were arrested. The owner of White’s Sale Barn was not charged with any crime."
Excise officers were assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff's Department and Franklin County Prosecutor's Office.
These arrests follow other counterfeiting and fraud investigations by excise officers in Evansville, Gary, Hammond, Indianapolis and other cities.
ISEP superintendent Matt Strittmatter said, “The illegal sale of counterfeit products cheats legitimate businesses out of income. The State Excise Police will continue to investigate any location known to be selling counterfeit products.”
Anyone with information concerning counterfeit goods can contact the excise police at 812-523-8314.
As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.