By Jennifer Brice

DENVER (CBS4) – The trafficking of counterfeit goods is the second-largest illicit trade, valued at $250 billion, according to the federal government.

Right now, it’s big business in Denver after the Broncos became Super Bowl Champions. Many people want something to commemorate that historic win with jerseys and sports apparel.

Counterfeit NFL Items (credit: ICE)

Counterfeit NFL Items (credit: ICE)

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agents say they seized 361 counterfeit NFL pieces from 15 vendors at the Broncos parade and rally Tuesday. ICE agents also seized $500,000 worth of merchandise in Northern California leading up to Super Bowl 50.

Law enforcement say it is not a victimless crime, that it effects the American economy and American worker. Knock-off merchandise may seem more affordable to someone who doesn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a jersey, but agents say it costs the economy and funds criminal organizations.

How do you know you’re buying a knock off? The quality usually isn’t as good, the stitching and lettering can be off. There are often misspellings on the apparel.

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

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