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Authorities seize counterfeit NBA merchandise

Four stores raided in the Oklahoma City area.
By Phillip O'Connor Published: June 8, 2012

Anti-counterfeiting authorities fanned out across Oklahoma City Wednesday and seized contraband NBA apparel from four stores.

The raids by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Oklahoma City police and NBA representatives netted almost 200 clothing items, including sweatsuits, polo shirts and T-shirts.

“We freaked out. I was like, ‘what's going on,'” said Denise Moore, owner of Three Dimension Vision of You, 7000 Crossroads Blvd.

Moore said authorities confiscated four T-shirts bearing Thunder logos that ranged in price from $10 to $15.

“I guess I don't have the copyrights to make them, so they were just doing their job,” Moore said.

Caleb Arter, owner of My Blue Seven at 7518 N May Ave., said he lost about 30 consignment T-shirts that he sold for $30 a piece.

“I don't think they had grounds for it personally,” Arter said of the seizure. “Our purpose is just to be creative, have fun and support our team. Our goal is not to steal someone else's ideas. We're definitely not trying to infringe on other people's logos.”

He said the seized shirts bore the words OKC and Thunder.

“I think that was the issue they had with that particular shirt,” he said. “We weren't jerks to the guys, and they weren't the nicest people. We just wanted them to know we weren't trying to get around the rules. We just want to know what we can and can't do. I'm glad they came.”

The other stores raided were Core Extreme Sports at 10467 N May Ave., and The Market at Quail Springs, 14001 Joel McDonald Drive.

‘Protect consumers'

The store owners will not be prosecuted and authorities said there was no indication the seized apparel was the handiwork of a larger criminal organization or counterfeit ring, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.

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