INDIANAPOLIS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Indianapolis saw a record number of fraudulent counterfeits during Fiscal Year 2022. CBP officers in Indianapolis seized 7,901 counterfeits that would have been worth a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price more than $115.53 million, had they been real, during Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.
CBP officers saw hundreds of packages that contained counterfeit items. A large majority of these counterfeits came from overseas locations, as these criminals target consumers ripping them off by selling substandard, and sometimes dangerous items, at top dollar prices. CBP officers in Indianapolis intercepted over 34% more counterfeits shipments compared to last year’s total. This year, officers in Indianapolis seized double the amount of counterfeits that they seized last year, a 55% increase. Indianapolis CBP noted that the top three seizures were counterfeit clothing, footwear, and other counterfeit goods.
“Express courier and international mail facilities are extremely high-volume facilities. Shippers of illicit goods may feel that the odds would be in their favor to use these venues to circumvent inspection and smuggle contraband into the United States,” said Jeremy Brodsky, Port Director-Indianapolis. “The numbers show the officers and specialists stationed at these hubs and facilities are extremely skilled at finding that one illegal shipment out of thousands every night, and they are among the nation’s finest in recognizing and intercepting illicit shipments of any kind.”
CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that are often associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods. Information about the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/FakeGoodsRealDangers.
CBP officers weren’t only seizing counterfeit items, they also seizing some of the most dangerous items that officers see--narcotics. This year Indianapolis CBP saw a decrease in the number of seizures but a 96% increase in the pounds of drugs seized, 9,887 pounds compared to 5,028 pounds from FY 2021.
- Marijuana was the most seized narcotic, with officers seizing almost 3,691, which would have had a street value of over $7.38 million.
- Ecstasy came in second. It rose by 88% but in four fewer seizures. CBP seized over 69 pounds.
- Methamphetamine finished third with 10 pounds seized, a street value over $11,000.
“The staff at the Port of Indianapolis has done a tremendous job this year in enforcement actions,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “Our officers and specialists are some of the most highly trained in the nation, and their level of expertise is evident in these numbers.”
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.