By Rick Sallinger
DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s district attorney is investigating after a law enforcement raid targeted a store that sold items with the labels of high-end fashion lines for very low prices.
Abe’s Clothing was located on West Colfax Avenue in Denver but a CBS4 crew found it is now cleared out. Everything was confiscated by authorities.
The suspicion is that Abe’s was selling counterfeit goods with fake high end labels.
The store had no front street entrance. Entry was attained through a barber shop not aligned in any way to Abe’s. The manager rented out a separate space inside.
Barber Jack Martinez was at work when the raid happened.
“They made us all sit down. Everybody in here, federal agents, police talked to the owner’s father. He was the one working,” Martinez told CBS4.
Before the raid, investigators took pictures of the owner, Alpha Balde, and many of the goods being sold.
They included high-end brand sunglasses and fancy bags.
“They took everything out of there. They had a van, there wasn’t enough room so they rented a U-Haul,” Martinez said.
The items were marked with labels like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Polo and many more. But court documents indicate the prices seemed way too low. Purses were for sale for $50 and $35.
Investigators said the goods were obviously fake based on the poor quality of workmanship and materials being used.
Balde has not been charged in this case but he has two prior arrests for trademark counterfeiting offenses. CBS4 has been unable to reach him for comment.