Police seized a pile of counterfeit Apple and Beats by Dre products and arrested four in connection with an international knock-off electronics scheme, authorities said Thursday.
The items, worth more than $100,000 – or an estimated $200,000 on the street – included generic headphones, watches and speakers made to resemble Apple Watches, Beats by Dre headphones and Beats Pill speakers.
The suspects have been charged with trademark counterfeiting, according to an announcement from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown Thursday.
“The defendants are accused of running an underground business that catered to wholesale and retail buyers who were interested in purchasing counterfeit products of major brands for resale,” Brown said in a written statement. “An operation such as the one allegedly run by the defendants fuels an underground economy. They are cash businesses that pay no taxes and damage the reputations of reputable brand owners and lower consumer confidence in the name brands by foisting inferior products into the marketplace.”
The counterfeit goods arrived via shipping container at the Port Newark Container Terminal in Newark, New Jersey, then were trucked to the CubeSmart self-storage facility in Flushing, Queens, authorities allege.
Inside that container, investigators found “4,250 generic speakers, 4,320 generic headphones and what were purportedly 339 Apple Watches,” the release said.
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In the home of 28-year-old Min Jian Hu, of Fresh Meadow, Queens, who authorities allege led a team of counterfeit sellers in New York, police also found a large stash of official-looking containers for the goods, including Beats earbud cases, headphone boxes and plastic logo caps.
Hu allegedly told police he ordered the products from China and that he had nine employees working in the city to help him distribute them.
The other suspects, according to the release, are: Jonathan Zhou, 23, of Fresh Meadows, Queens, and Dahun Wie, 21, of Oakland Gardens, Queens, and Huanchao Li, also of Oakland Gardens.
The NYPD collaborated with the Department of Homeland Security to make the bust, the release said.