SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Counterfeit NFL gear is a multi-million dollar business, and undercover cops fanned out across Sacramento Friday to try to put a stop to some of it.
CBS13 was the only station to tag along with officers as they made a few busts.
Undercover police confiscated hundreds of shirts, a couple hundred jerseys, and a few hundred baseball caps that were all considered fakes.
An authentic jersey or anything that has a 49ers logo on it should have a hologram. You may see knock offs with just a silver sticker, but those rainbow reflective colors won’t show if it’s a fake.
Undercover cops busted a shirt stand off Watt Avenue.
“I buy from San Francisco, LA,” the stand owner said.
He also claimed he didn’t know the merchandise was counterfeit.
“I try to get the ones that don’t have signals on it,” he said.
The markings like the Super Bowl symbol or 49ers logo are what make the clothing illegal, because they’re not officially licensed by the NFL.
At a smoke shop, the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force finds more merchandise, now marked as evidence.
Deputies say a lot of the gear comes from Mexico or China. They can buy fake NFL jerseys for $20 a box and turn around to sell them for up to $100 apiece.
Deputeis says they also found marijuana at the makeshift shop.
“We get gang members; we get people on probation or parole,” a task force officer said of the people they bust.
Some people say a $5 Super Bowl shirt is still a screaming deal.
“For five bucks, you can’t beat it. I don’t care if it’s not licensed or not,” said one man.
The man selling counterfeit NFL gear at his Watt Avenue stand says he’s been selling merchandise for two days and business was good.
“They shutting me down, so no good, no more,” he said.
Most chain stores sell the real stuff, but at a much higher price, of course. Actual jerseys licensed by the NFL could go for as much as $200 to $300.
Deputies say, even they get counterfeits caught up in their shipments without even realizing it.