Two indicted for $1 million counterfeit goods yard sale

(WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Two men have been indicted in connection with a counterfeit designer goods scheme.

A federal grand jury indicted Stephen Russell and Robert Brown in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, according to court documents released Tuesday, finding probable cause to go to trial.

Russell and Brown, both of Pawtucket, are charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods after federal authorities say the men tried to sell counterfeit items last fall at a yard sale at a Cranston home.

Belts, handbags, fragrances, hats, scarves, gloves, duffle bags, clothing, footwear, boots and sunglasses were among the items seized. Altogether, the items had an estimated value of $1 million, Cranston police said after the initial arrest. Gucci, Fendi and Prada were among the many designer trademarks found on the fake items, as well as sports team logos. The two men are also charged with conspiracy.

“It has been proven that criminals involved in this activity use the sale of counterfeit merchandise to fund other illegal activities, including narcotics trafficking and even terrorism,” said Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist last fall in an interview.

While police originally arrested Ryan Peirce of Pawtucket in the case, the grand jury did not return an indictment for him.

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