Federal agents raid websites selling counterfeit merchandise



ORLANDO, Fla. -  Channel 9 was invited inside a federal operation going on that is currently targeting websites set up just for the holidays to sell you counterfeit merchandise.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Orlando are working on Operation In Our Sights. The agents showed WFTV what they've seized so far this year, including fake designer clothes, electronics and jewelry.

“We'll go after the website itself,” said Agent Mark Garrand. “We'll actually make purchases and from the purchases, we'll bring them in and authenticate, are they real or are they fake? If they're fake, we go in and shut that website down.”

Among the counterfeit items agents have seized were Michael Kors watches that sell online for at least $40 and in stores for $225.

Agents won’t say which websites they've already shut down, because the operation is still ongoing and arrests are yet to be made.

The goods smuggled into the U.S. are sold without proper inspection to determine if chemicals and tools used to make them are safe.

“You're talking life and death here,” Garrand said.          

Federal agents said the U.S. lost $250 billion in revenue last year because consumers thought they were getting a deal but instead got stuck with counterfeit merchandise they bought online.