HOUSTON – Police confiscated almost $7 million worth of counterfeit purses in a raid at two businesses in southwest Houston Wednesday afternoon, and only KHOU 11 News was at both scenes as the simultaneous busts went down.
The raids happened in the 9800 block of Harwin and the 5800 block of Corporate.
KHOU 11 News cameras were rolling as the HPD Major Offenders Division and ICE worked together to recover the illegal merchandise.
From the outside, one of the businesses looked like a furniture store. But police said what was really inside was part of a million-dollar, counterfeit-purse-selling operation.
The purses, which were found in hidden rooms, had fake tags resembling high-end brands like Gucci, Prada and Coach. Police said the sellers were very cautious and would only invite select customers into the back rooms to view the purses.
Police wasted no time packing up the fake handbags and hauling them away.
Just at the Corporate address, authorities confiscated 11,000 pieces, worth an estimated $6.7 million. Police have not released the amount or value of the merchandise discovered at the Harwin address.
Jose Armando Andrade, Leticia Cruz and Mariano Rufino Pretzantzin were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Each suspect was given a $470,000 bond.