Five people charged with trafficking 385K of fake Nike Air Jordans worth $73 million

Tyler Ashlock Swanson Studio

The extraordinary measures five people took to try and make others feel Like Mike -- at Mike's expense -- have earned them criminal charges in New York, authorities announced on Tuesday.

According to the NYPD and Homeland Security Investigations, five individuals in New York who smuggled several thousand pairs of fake Nike Air Jordan shoes into New York and New Jersey have been caught red-handed. The estimated total amount of the stock had the sneakers been authentic, per ABC News, is roughly $73 million.

So how did this small circle of people get caught trafficking fake Air Jordans? According to authorities, the bootlegged kicks were shipped from factories in China through Port Newark between January 2016 and June 2018, and the knock-offs mirrored real Air Jordans that sell for nearly $200 a pop. In all, HSI said 385,280 pairs were shipped during that time frame. 

"The five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million in fake Nike shoes and sold them to buyers on the U.S. market," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. "I commend our law enforcement partners for helping to bring today's charges, which send a clear message to would-be counterfeiters: 'Just don't do it.'"

Each defendant in the case faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison. 

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