U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has been a constant presence at the Super Bowl for many years, having built and maintained a successful partnership with the National Football League. This year, HSI personnel in Miami will work with a range of federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout Super Bowl week to provide essential public safety measures in and around the city to help combat many of the criminal threats the league and host city might face leading up to and throughout the big game February 2, 2020.
Why is HSI involved in preventing the sale of counterfeit products?
The illegal manufacture and sale of counterfeit goods is one of the primary concerns of HSI, as it is for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), which includes many additional federal and international partners. It is criminal activity that endangers public health, harms 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 crack down 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 many of the United States’ major sporting leagues to target contraband that negatively impacts the economy, enables additional criminality and poses health and safety hazards to the public.
As in years past, effective teamwork will be the key to success on and off the field during Super Bowl LIV. For HSI, the size and scope of the task will again be met with personnel who are prepared to successfully execute the agency’s game plan and safeguard the city and everyone traveling to and from the Super Bowl.