ATLANTA (WSAV) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers last week seized nearly 20,000 flavor vape pens worth roughly $600,000 in Atlanta.
According to the agency, last Wednesday, CBP Atlanta officers found 66 boxes of “Ricky and Morty” branded vape pens and e-cigarettes as they were inspecting a shipment and suspected the items violated copyright and trademark law.
The vape pens, which originated in a shipment from China, were to be distributed across Georgia.
CBP contacted Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and confirmed they hadn’t licensed their copyright of the animated series for vape pens.
Officers ultimately seized the 19,800 vape pens with an estimated retail price of over $590,00.
“One of our primary missions is to intercept merchandise that could pose a serious health risk to the consumer, but this shipment of counterfeit vape pens violated Intellectual Property Rights,” said Paula Rivera, Atlanta’s CBP port director. “CBP collaborates with many government agencies to enforce laws to protect the health and safety of the consumer and our communities.”
CBP says each year, they seize millions of counterfeit goods that could otherwise hurt the U.S. economy, threaten consumers and fund criminal activity.
Counterfeit items are often sold in underground outlets or on third-party e-commerce sites, according to CBP. Consumers might think they’re buying a genuine product but are left with a poor-quality item.
Last year, CBP seized nearly $1.3 billion worth of goods that violated intellectual property rights.