BENTON, Ill. – A federal judge sentenced a man to prison Thursday after he obtained hundreds of counterfeit phone cases with the intent to resell them in southern Illinois.
Trevor J. Edwards, 21, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of trafficking counterfeit goods.
According to court documents, Edwards was listed on a suspicious shipment seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in February 2021. The shipment had more than 500 counterfeit designer cellphone cases wand came from Hong Kong.
The phone cases were counterfeit and falsely branded as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci. The cases are retailed at an estimated $212,500. Once seized, the government sent a receipt to Edwards to notify him of his illegal activity.
Several months later, Edwards was pulled over by officers in Washington County, Illinois. Police searched his vehicle and found 336 counterfeit designer cell phone cases, $241,000 in cash and nearly 3,000 vape pens and cartridges containing cannabis.
“In two separate instances, the defendant knowingly attempted to obtain counterfeit goods in order to resell and manipulate consumers in downstate Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Reselling counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime, and offenders face serious consequences.”
“Counterfeit goods traffickers like Edwards are looking to gain a profit but in reality, are committing a crime that results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers receiving substandard products,” said Sean Fitzgerald, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago. “HSI enforcement operations into intellectual property theft protect not only the companies who have copyrighted products, but the consumers who believe they are buying legitimate goods.”
In addition to his prison sentence, Edwards was also ordered to pay $1,300 in restitution, $500 in fines and follow through with three years of supervised release.