$120k in counterfeit goods seized in Orangeburg, 5 arrested

Counterfeit goods / Emily Pace

ORANGEBURG (WACH) -- Officials say they've arrested five counterfeiting suspects in Orangeburg.

Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department Leroy Ravenell says more than $120,000 in counterfeit goods were seized during an undercover investigation at the Springfield Flea Market and Silverback Wholesalers.

"We were lucky enough to get in and get it shutdown," Ravenell says.

Jarvis Larkins, Kelvin Robinson, Ahmad Muhammad, Chevon Royal and James Grant have all been arrested as a result. If convicted, they face up to $20,000 in fines and/or five years in jail.

Clothes, shoes, cologne, movies and cd TMs were all part of the counterfeit items.

We are appreciative of the support from the Secretary of State TMs Office in being able to conduct these investigations and make these arrests," Ravenell says. "The Orangeburg County Sheriff TMs Office is ever vigilant in our efforts to enforce the laws of South Carolina. We will not continue to protect the citizens of this county by checking businesses to ensure they are operating in the full scope of the law. Trademarks, business licenses, or liquor licenses, we are checking them all."

Counterfeit goods cost U.S. businesses up to $250 billion annually, according to Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

He adds fake merchandise hurts more than entrepreneurs, but it can be dangerous for consumers.

"A lot of this apparel is able to be sold so cheap is because it doesn't have flame retardant that the United States would require," Hammond says.

Either way, authorities don't want residents to have buyer's remorse. They say if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The items seized will be held as evidence, while the five suspects who are currently out on bond await trial.