Two Madera men were arrested Thursday by special agents with the federal Homeland Security Investigations team during raids on retailers suspected of selling counterfeit goods.
Nicholas Ramon Ramirez, 60, was arrested at Del Valle Food, a restaurant and market on 9th Street a few blocks north of the Highway 99/145 interchange. During a search of the store, agents with HSI, an arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, found misbranded medications including three bottles of Tramadol, a painkiller that can cause death if used incorrectly.
Some of the medicine was displayed in a glass case near the checkout, but most was found in a rear storage room. A lot of the recovered medicine was illegally imported from Mexico and not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the Madera County District Attorney’s Office which assisted with the operation.
Iyad Aljaal, 42, was arrested at Casa Nova Fashion and Wireless on Yosemite Avenue three blocks north of Courthouse Park. Investigators found 900 counterfeit sports jerseys with trademarked logos for the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. Agents also recovered belts and wallets in boxes falsely labeled with the Hermes brand name.
Three other businesses on Yosemite were also searched Thursday: Casa Nova Fashion and Shoes, Santa Marta Botanica and Jaliscience Jewelers.
The DA’s Office said Ramirez will be charged with various crimes, including a violation of a health and safety code and selling illegal drugs. Aljaal will be charged with a felony violation for sale of a counterfeit item.