November 1—HIGH POINT—Federal, state and local laws are cracking down on a common practice of narcotics traffickers: Concealing drugs through packaging that looks like designs of popular candy and other snacks.
NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall joined High Point Police Chief Travis Stroud Monday afternoon during a brief meeting at the city’s police headquarters to discuss the results of the recent challenges have used trademark infringement laws to target illegal activity.
“It’s clear they’re here to cheat,” Stroud said, standing next to a table with several packages seized by law enforcement.
On October 20 and 27, local police teamed up with agents from the NC Office of the Secretary of State, NC Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, NC Alcohol Law Enforcement Division and US Department of Homeland Security to Check out 20 High Point tobacco and vape shops for a quote. violation More than 8,800 products were submitted by store owners and employees, who were issued warnings, but could face charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the value of the results.
Police Lt. Kim Rieson, who oversees operations for the department, said the notice to the stores will be punished when the police find these items. Rieson said 10% to 15% of the packages seized contained narcotics — including ingredients containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — or hallucinogens.
The value of the stolen goods was $49,896, according to High Point police.
Many stores are selling cans and bottles with hidden parts, which are used to hide narcotics, law enforcement officials said. Others are selling products designed to fool urine tests.
The packages that Marshall claims have infringed on trademarks include items similar to products made by Frito-Lay, Kellogg’s, Disney, Oreo, Sour Patch Kids and the Girl Scouts, and he said it could be mislead children.
Profits from sales of fraudulent packages fill the carts of drug and human traffickers across the country and the world, said Marshall, whose office oversees labeling operations in North Carolina. .
Marshall said there was a domestic black market organization to set up fraudulent tax evasion operations in the United States and abroad.
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