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Two women were arrested on April 2 at Canton’s First Monday Trade Days for allegedly selling counterfeit items like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermes that have an original retail value of $1.3 million.

Two women were arrested last week on accusations of selling counterfeit luxury products, including Louis Vuitton and Gucci, at Canton’s First Monday Trade Days flea market.

Van Zandt County District Attorney Tonda Curry said the Department of Homeland Security conducted an undercover investigation and arrested vendors Chiquita Peoples and Nhu Ngoc La.

Curry said the women, who were arrested on April 2, are accused of selling fake Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Hermes purses, caps, shoes and sunglasses.

The retail value of the real luxury items is at $1.3 million, Curry said. The women are charged with trademark counterfeiting and depending on the amount sold their punishment range could differ.

Peoples could face two to 10 years in prison and La could face six months to two years, Curry said.

Curry said the district attorney’s office and other agencies intend to maintain the integrity of the First Monday trade days, which has become the largest flea market in the world. The event began in 1850.

“First Monday has been going for 150 years; it’s the heart and soul of Canton, and my office and the law enforcement will partner together to keep first Monday the wholesome event that it’s always been,” she said.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas and HSI Tyler, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, the Canton Police Department and industry experts with Investigation Services Company, LLC all assisted in the investigation that led to the arrests.

{div class=”article__section article__section_type_text utility__text”}“Buying and selling counterfeit items poses a significant threat to our local economy and the dedicated vendors who come to Canton for legitimate business ventures,” Curry told our news partner KYTX CBS 19. “We will work relentlessly with our federal law enforcement partners to prosecute anyone who sells fake items at our trade days, having no tolerance for those who disregard laws related to trademark infringement.”{/div}

 
 

Multimedia Journalist

I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.