ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dina Gonzalez-Marquez, 23, and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez, 21, were arrested Wednesday over allegations of operating a counterfeit airbag business from their home.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents cooperated to investigate the illegal alien siblings.
The two Mexico natives appeared in federal court on Thursday. They face a three-count indictment, with “one count of conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods and two counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods,” according to ICE.
Apparently, Dina Gonzalez-Marquez and Emilio Gonzalez-Marquez operated a business selling counterfeit airbag modules and covers out of their Albuquerque residence from January 2015 to March 2017.
The siblings listed and sold the counterfeit items online, then shipped them to purchasers. They also made the illegal transactions in-person.
Undercover HSI special agents set up a purchase from the pair on two separate occasions. The defendants sold one special agent a counterfeit airbag in August 2016, and they sold another special agent a counterfeit airbag cover on March 1, 2017.
The Gonzalez-Marquez’s are in federal custody “pending arraignment and detention hearings, which are scheduled for May 5.” If convicted, they could each serve up to 10 years in prison and pay fines of up to $2 million.
Waldemar Rodriguez, special agent in charge of HSI in El Paso said the investigation is an “example of HSI’s commitment to safeguarding the American people and protecting the integrity of U.S. commerce.”
Rodriguez stated it’s “reckless disregard” to sell counterfeit life-saving devices that are supposed to provide for the consumers’ safety and well-being. “HSI’s efforts and pursuit of these criminal enterprises will no doubt help save lives,” he concluded.
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