ROMULUS, Mich. (WJBK) - Detroit Metropolitan Airport customs agents seized more than $600,000 worth of phony championship rings.
The feds are cracking down on counterfeit goods. And as sports collectibles go, these championship rings are top shelf.
"There are 136 pieces with a retail value of $680,000," said Officer Ken Hammond, Customs Border Patrol Protection.
Or they would be, if they were real.
"It came in a regular DHL package, a small package and we examined and found what we found," Hammond said.
Customs and border protection made this discovery inside a cargo plane from China bound for Metro Airport in Romulus.
So how do custom agents know what they are looking at when they get their hands on some jewelry? They could take it to the experts over here at American Jewelry and Loan. but they have their own experts.
"Under the trained eye of our import specialist and our officers we do have the training to interdict the illicit goods," Hammond said.
In this case, the company on the package label has been on customs radar - a big red flag that led to the bust.
But we're told the agency inspects every package one way or another. All in an effort to protect honest American business.
"We want to take these illicit goods off the street so the proceeds don't benefit criminals," Hammond said.
Because the fake rings came in on a cargo plane, no one has been charged with a crime. However they do plan to destroy the counterfeit merchandise.