Agents seize dangerous counterfeit products at JFK Airport

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Just in time for the holidays: counterfeit DVDs and bogus Gameboys. Complete with flimsy power cords that could get you killed.

An estimated 20 percent of all the counterfeit goods smuggled into the United States now come through Kennedy Airport. And with that, a growing threat to the people who buy them.

"If consumers want to buy it, counterfeiters will find a way to make it," said Special Agent Angel Melendez of US Homeland Security Investigations at a press conference Tuesday.

Agents in New York are seizing more counterfeit items than ever before, and it's not just knock-off, designer handbags and wallets. A growing number of the shipments are bogus pharmaceuticals.

And the top target for counterfeiters? Viagra. It is produced in different shapes, with the same blue color, in the same packaging and a similar, but bogus hologram. Some counterfeit pharmaceuticals have been found to contain herbs or even sawdust.

Agents say some knock-off perfumes and colognes have been found to contain horse urine.

"You really don't know what you're getting," said JFK Port Director, Frank Russo. "There's no quality control and they could be very harmful for you."

Counterfeit goods are becoming increasingly dangerous, and authorities say Americans need to realize they're not worth the risk.

"Purchase these items at an authorized retailer or a reputable online retailer," said Melendez. "If not, they could be hazardous to your health."

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