BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) – The Bossier Parish Sheriff's office, Bossier City Police, and Louisiana State Police Troop G teamed up to crack down on businesses selling counterfeit goods. These agencies busted six different locations in Bossier Parish. Five were within Bossier City limits and one was in Haughton.
At least 18 people were arrested during the entire sting Wednesday morning.
Bossier City resident Tina Benefield has been shopping at Pro Beauty Supply on Benton Road for several years. She even worked at the shop.
"This was one of my favorite stores," said Benefield. "I spend over $100 a month in the store, probably more."
She was shocked to drive by and see the place being raided, watching the owner and employees being hauled off in handcuffs. Benefield said she thought she was buying authentic designer purses and clothing from the store at a discounted price.
Pro Beauty Supply was one of six stores to be simultaneously raided by officers and deputies. Other stores where raids were conducted were: Hip Hop City, 1632 Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier City, Otto's Citgo, 1995 Airline Drive in Bossier City, Jubilee Ride U.S.A., 1300 Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier City, Foodtown, 1918 Benton Road in Bossier City, and Kings Korner, 756 Highway 80 in Haughton.
The agencies seized thousands of dollars worth of clothing and products that were labeled as name brand products, like Nike and Polo.
"Some of these products are pretty well done. So it's hard to tell," said Ed Baswell, Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer.
The operation even found drug paraphernalia inside many of the stores. It all started about 8 months ago after undercover agents started investigating every convenience store and Mom and Pop Shop in Bossier Parish, purchasing these alleged fake items.
"We brought in the representatives of these name brand entities and had them look at these products and they were able to tell us after we bought them out of the stores which was fake."
Kings Korner, in Haughton, was busted for distributing a hallucinogenic plant. Many of the suspects arrested will face charges of money laundering, racketeering, illegal use of counterfeit trademark, and drug charges.