Who says crime doesn’t pay? Apparently the Chicago police department. They seized 13,725 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes on Chicago’s South side yesterday.
Chukwuemeka Ebelechukwu, a Nigerian native living in Chicago, could have made $1.1 million had the storefront where he housed them not been busted through a tip-off.
Investigators said Ebelechukwu is accused of selling most of his goods to small local stores and individuals who would resell them. The shoes consisted mostly of Air Force 1’s, a popular model, and Air Jordan‘s. However, there were quite a few types Nike doesn’t even make with weird color combinations, like ones that looked like they were commemorating the 4th of July.
This was not the biggest bust for counterfeit Nikes, according to Vada Manager, a spokesman for Nike. In a July 2005 raid, New York police seized more than 27,000 pairs of Nike shoes worth about $2 million, Manager said.
They think Ebelechukwu might have been getting them from China or online. He was mostly operating by phone, calling contacts and sources to pick up shipments from the storefront, where the glass had a reflective tint that made looking inside difficult.
Source: Chicago Tribune