As the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles prepare to battle for the right to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl LII champions, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will be playing its best defense to protect the thousands of fans who will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the biggest sporting event of the year.
HSI has been a constant presence at the Super Bowl for many years, having formed an effective partnership with the National Football League. This year, led by St. Paul Special Agent in Charge and Super Bowl federal coordinator Alex Khu, HSI will work with its law enforcement partners throughout Super Bowl week to provide public safety to all in attendance and combat many of the threats the league and host city face leading up to and during the big game.
Why is HSI involved in combatting counterfeit products?
The illegal manufacturing and sale of counterfeit goods is one of the primary concerns of HSI, CBP, and the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), which includes many federal and international partners. The practice endangers public health, the economy and restricts the competitiveness of U.S. products in the global market.
As part of those efforts, Operation Team Player, an ongoing effort developed by the IPR Center to crackdown on the illegal importation of counterfeit sports apparel and merchandise, has worked through the year to identify warehouses, stores, flea markets, online vendors and street vendors selling counterfeit and game-related sportswear and tickets throughout the country. The IPR Center leads coordinated efforts with major sporting leagues to target contraband that impacts the economy, enables additional criminality and poses health and safety hazards to the public.
Teamwork will be the key to success on and off the field during Super Bowl LII. For HSI, the enormity of the task will be met with personnel who will be prepared to successfully execute the agency’s game plan.
Stay connected to HSI at the Super Bowl:
The ICE Office of Public Affairs will be on location throughout the week to give readers a day-by-day look at the agency’s efforts. Through text, pictures and video, OPA will provide regular updates that highlight the many things ICE is doing to ensure that the Super Bowl is a success.