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Baytown man accused of selling counterfeit Texans jerseys

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Baytown man is accused of trying to cash in on the Texans fever sweeping through our area.

When it comes to buying Texans gear right now, Baytown police are urging buyers to beware. Detectives say they caught one guy trying to pass off some decent looking knockoff jerseys as authentic.

From a white Arian Foster jersey, to Andre Johnson's No. 80 in blue, even to a bright pink J.J. Watt jersey for the ladies; they may all look like official NFL sanctioned Houston Texans jerseys, but Baytown police say look again.

Detectives say the jerseys are knockoffs that were being sold by Edward Lawrence Williams.

"Selling items like this on the black market is pretty big counterfeiting. It's a big business," said Lt. Eric Freed with the Baytown Police Department.

Investigators say on December 10, 2012, undercover officers caught Williams selling several dozen counterfeit jerseys for $65 apiece from his truck parked outside a tobacco store at 1600 N. Alexander Drive. They say the man was telling his customers those jerseys were the real deal -- like those you can find being sold in the Texans store.

"The detective inspected the garment and noticed some issues with the stitching," Lt. Freed said.

The jerseys Williams was allegedly selling do have the Texans mark, the NFL logo and the Nike swoosh. But police say the labels are all off-center, the threads are shredding and the stitching's all uneven.

"They're capitalizing on the forward momentum of our Houston Texans," said Lt. Freed.

We went to Williams' residence to get some answers about his jerseys. There, a woman who identified herself to Eyewitness News as Williams' wife says someone gave him the shirts to sell and claims he didn't know they weren't authentic.

Court documents state 41 counterfeit Texans jerseys with Nike emblems were seized. The items were valued at more than $2,600 total.

Experts examined the jerseys and police say they confirmed the jerseys are counterfeit.

Baytown police say Williams, 46, has a criminal history including arrests for assault and criminal mischief. Now he's facing felony charges of trademark counterfeiting.
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baytown, local, demond fernandez
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