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Feds Crack Down On Fake NFL Merchandise Ahead Of Super Bowl

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Federal authorities look over counterfeit NFL merchandise intercepted at O'Hare Airport. (CBS)

Federal authorities look over counterfeit NFL merchandise intercepted at O’Hare Airport. (CBS)

Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) – New Orleans is home of Super Bowl 47 — and “Operation Red Zone.”

Federal officers seized counterfeit NFL merchandise worth $13.6 million.

It’s also a problem in Chicago, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

“Right here, you’re looking at about $20,000 in merchandise, if it was real,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Brian Bell said.

He showed off counterfeit NFL merchandise seized at O’Hare over the span of just a few days. Much of the clothing contained obvious flaws, such as loose threads and subpar materials.

Drug cartels are using fakes to fuel criminal activities.

“If they’re paying $3 for this jersey and then trying to mark it up and sell it for even $100, they’re making $97 profit,” Bell said. “That can be used to fuel whatever kind enterprise they want to be involved in.”

All of the counterfeit merchandise will be destroyed. More than 300 websites selling fake NFL items were shut down during Operation Red Zone.

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