AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Several spaces at the Barnyard and South Augusta Flea Markets are empty after Deputies arrested four people who they say were selling counterfeit merchandise Saturday.
Four people are charged with selling $3 million worth of counterfeit merchandise at the Barnyard and South Augusta Flea Markets. Deputies arrested Abu Karuma, Faye Adamas, Ana Ycaza and Leha Truong. Investigators say they found replica items of popular brands at the suspects’ booths.
Angela Knight sells produce in the booth across from two of the suspects.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I mean I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Investigators say they found $3 million worth of counterfeit goods including Nike shoes, UGG boots, North face jackets, and Michael Kors purses and wallets, and Chanel perfume. Now, merchandise that used to fill several tables is in police custody.
Investigators say the items seized from two of the suspects are worth more than $10,000.
Ron Rider has been both a seller and a buyer at the Barnyard for around 15 years. He says those numbers don’t add up to him.
“They said they got $3 million worth of stuff…and I know, I’ve seen the two main people that they supposedly got the stuff from…and there’s no possible way,” he said. “I mean you could probably buy everything out here for $3 million.”
The manager says the $3 million figure is the total amount the goods, if legitimate, would have sold for in a department store.
Rider says the vast majority of vendors in the Barnyard are trying to make an honest living.
“The vendors are good people,” he said. “They sell legitimate products. But there are a few people that misrepresent things.”
He says most vendors understand the consequences of selling knock-offs.
“I’ve had friends of mine that ended up buying storage units, finding knock-off, pirated stuff, and they’ll throw it away,” Rider said. “They won’t sell it at all because they know the rules out here. They have a strict policy out here, no counterfeit, no pirated…and quite frankly I agree with it.”
The manager at the Barnyard says they have 600 booths available for vendors, and they appreciate the Sheriff’s Office helping them weed out counterfeit products.
The suspects are facing anywhere from two to 20 years in prison, depending on the final value of the merchandise.