Texas Vape Store Proprietor, Muhammad Uzair Khalid Pleads Responsible to Illegal Importation of Counterfeit Vaping Merchandise
(STL.Information) A Texas vape store proprietor pleaded responsible Tuesday to a felony cost regarding the importation of counterfeit vaping merchandise, the Division of Justice introduced. Muhammad Uzair Khalid (Uzair), 36, of Garland, Texas, pleaded responsible within the U.S. District Court docket for the Northern District of Texas to at least one depend of trafficking in counterfeit items, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2320(a)(1). Uzair admitted that, from October 2017 to November 2019, he deliberately and unlawfully imported counterfeit vaping-related objects from China, together with counterfeit vaping atomizers, labels, containers and baggage for vaping-related merchandise.
Since August 2019, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA), state and native well being departments and different medical and public well being companions have been investigating a 2019 to 2020 nationwide outbreak of E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Related Lung Harm (EVALI) that concerned greater than 1,000 studies of lung accidents — together with some leading to deaths — following the usage of vaping merchandise. As the general public well being investigation has continued, authorities have warned that the accidents could also be linked to the usage of vaping merchandise containing Vitamin E acetate, in addition to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Throughout a November 2019 search of a Texas vape store owned by Uzair, Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) particular brokers seized counterfeit vaping-related objects, in addition to a machine used to fill vape cartridges, a number of objects that examined constructive for THC and an injector mechanism with an amber substance containing Vitamin E acetate.
In pleading responsible, Uzair admitted that he usually communicated with Chinese language producers concerning the manufacturing and sale of counterfeit vaping merchandise. Specifically, Uzair consulted with Chinese language producers on strategies to mimic the branding and logos of well-known American vape firms and imported and bought imitation vaping gadgets, labels and packaging. Uzair additional admitted that he adopted and used these counterfeit marks to spice up his gross sales. Uzair additionally bought quite a few different counterfeit items at his vape store.
“The Department of Justice takes counterfeiting seriously,” stated Appearing Assistant Legal professional Normal Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Division’s Civil Division. “We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to take these products off the market.”
“Our investigation made clear that we needed to take swift action against counterfeit vaping-related items,” stated U.S. Legal professional Chad E. Meacham for the Northern District of Texas. “The Justice Department will not tolerate the importation of black-market goods.”
“HSI is committed to enforcing the nation’s intellectual property rights laws to help safeguard American consumers said Acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Miller of HSI Dallas. “We strive to protect legitimate U.S. businesses from financial harm caused by criminal organizations that profit from trafficking in counterfeit goods, including counterfeit vaping products.”
U.S. Justice of the Peace Choose Renee Harris Toliver took the defendant’s responsible plea in federal courtroom in Dallas.
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Phelesa M. Man of the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Northern District of Texas and Trial Attorneys Speare Hodges and Patrick Runkle of the Division of Justice Civil Division’s Client Safety Department are prosecuting the case. This matter was primarily investigated by the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety.
SOURCE: USDOJ.In the present day