And for some reason the FBI was the lead agency in the investigation.
NYT March 2, 2012 by Nate Schweber
Officials Tell of Fake Labels Hidden Beneath Fake Labels
NEWARK — With skin fashioned like hightop moccasins, they looked like popular UGG brand boots. But tags on their heels read “XMX,” and they had generic tread on their bottoms.
Once the boots cleared customs at two New Jersey ports, they were taken to nearby warehouses, where, prosecutors said, workers ripped off the dummy tags to reveal an UGG label and that brand’s signature soles.
But even those were fake, federal officials said Friday in announcing what they said was the breakup of two overlapping criminal rings that took part in an elaborate scheme to sell $325 million worth of counterfeit goods throughout the United States.
Twenty-nine people, most of them Chinese, were charged in the case. Federal agents made arrests this week in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and the Philippines. As of Friday evening, all but four of the defendants were in custody...
F.B.I. agents, posing as buyers, wired $70,000 to a Taiwan bank, and later the narcotics were sent to them in a shipping container, hidden inside bags of Chinese tea. The drug traffickers also made plans to ship crystal methamphetamine to Japan along with goods earmarked for tsunami relief, Mr. Fishman said. The man the authorities described as the mastermind behind the drug shipping conspiracy, Soon Ah Kow, 72, of Hong Kong, could face life in prison if convicted.
And this clue:
Star Ledger March 3, 2012 by Jason Grant
Most of those rounded up are Chinese, and some are U.S. citizens, Fishman noted. The majority live in New York, authorities also said, although some are residents of New Jersey, Texas, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
This crime is typical of illegal aliens from China. This particular crime is dominated by Chinese, most of whom are illegal aliens. And they have no fear of interference from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). And more significantly importing goods is paperwork intensive and the illegal Chinese interact daily with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) but CBP makes no effort to investigate the immigration status of those who submit the required papers for imported goods. Clearly for years this crime was allowed to continue because of an ongoing disinterest in immigration law enforcement by ICE and CBP.