Federal authorities seized 100,080 counterfeit N95 surgical masks Monday in El Paso, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initially detained the shipment of 3M N95 surgical masks with a value of $600,480 on Dec. 3, according to a release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.
The masks were at an El Paso bonded warehouse bound for a hospital on the East Coast. More than 5,000 boxes were seized at the warehouse. Officials did not identify the East Coast hospital.
Agents determined the masks were counterfeit after working with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and 3M Company.
“The seizure of these counterfeit surgical masks not only ensures the health and safety of our frontline health care workers by preventing them from receiving inferior personal protective equipment, it also protects the integrity of the American economy,” said Erik P. Breitzke, acting special agent in charge of ICE HSI El Paso.
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