FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS—A Hazlehurst man is going to prison for selling counterfeit goods, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Christopher Williams, 25, of Hazlehurst was sentenced Monday by Judge Lamar Pickard in Copiah County Circuit Court on one felony count of vending goods bearing a counterfeit trademark or label. Williams pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, a fine of $1,000, another $1,000 to cover costs of the investigation, plus court costs.
The investigation was handled by investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, working on information obtained from the Hazlehurst Police Department (a member of the Attorney General’s Operation Knock Out Knock Offs Task Force). An undercover investigation caught Williams selling counterfeit purses and other bogus merchandise on Whitworth Street in downtown Hazlehurst. Williams was operating out of his car with a table set up beside the car in a parking lot. Investigators bought two purses, a fake Burberry and a fake Gucci, with a combined retail value, if not counterfeit, of over $2,000. Certified counterfeit inspectors examined the goods and determined that they were indeed fakes. As part of the sentencing hearing, Judge Pickard ordered the destruction of the counterfeit items.
“This type of activity is going on across Mississippi and our intent is to stop it,” said Attorney General Hood. “Let this case serve as a warning that there is a higher price to pay for selling counterfeit goods in our state.”
This case was investigated by several investigators with the Attorney General’s Office including Lee McDivitt and Angela Williams, and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Patrick Beasley and Alexander Kassoff.