Crime

Bogus tickets aren’t the only counterfeit World Series items being peddled

Federal agents seized nearly 1,000 bogus items before the first game of the World Series. They included counterfeit merchandise such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, cellphone cases and even baby clothes.
Federal agents seized nearly 1,000 bogus items before the first game of the World Series. They included counterfeit merchandise such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, cellphone cases and even baby clothes. KRT

Double-check those World Series baby clothes before you buy. They may be counterfeit.

Federal agents seized nearly 1,000 bogus items Tuesday before the first game of the World Series. They went beyond fake tickets, including counterfeit merchandise such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, cellphone cases and even baby clothes.

Four out-of-towners were charged in Johnson County District Court. More charges may come.

“This is ongoing,” said Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Our agents are physically present in Kansas City right now working cases.”

Agents seized more than 125 counterfeit game tickets Tuesday, each with a face value of $350, for a total street value of more than $43,000.

Overland Park police were contacted Tuesday by a local ticket broker who said someone came to them with fake tickets. Police were able to track down the seller, which led to four arrests.

Earl Santiago, 34, from Georgia, and Xian Padilla, 23, Warren Daniels, 34, and Michael Pinero, 28, all from New York state, were each charged with a single count of forgery. They were being held Wednesday on $100,000 bond.

District Attorney Steve Howe said police think more victims may have purchased counterfeit tickets in person or through Craigslist. He urged them to call Overland Park police at 913-895-6300.

Counterfeit tickets and merchandise — and efforts to stop them — are common around big sporting events such as the World Series, the All-Star Game and the Super Bowl.

“Our primary goal is to stop the sale or production of these items,” said Neudauer, whose agency is under the Department of Homeland Security. “Our agents are focused on protecting consumers. You don’t want somebody paying a lot of money for bogus tickets, and the quality of the merchandise often doesn’t meet federal standards.”

Not all counterfeit operations are organized or nefarious.

Lindquist Press owner Eric Lindquist said he had no idea he violated copyright law when he printed a few dozen pairs of women’s underwear with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the rear for Birdies Panties in Kansas City. He said the design was hand-drawn.

Lindquist was approached Tuesday by federal agents but had not been charged.

“I was telling them that I have no interest in the Royals anymore or baseball in general,” he said. “It was quite an education.”

The Star’s Mark Morris and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To reach Matt Campbell, call 816-234-4902 or send email to mcampbell@kcstar.com.

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