DOJ Says Unsafe Toys Smuggled Into US

Five New York City residents were charged with smuggling unsafe and counterfeit toys into the U.S. from China, according to federal prosecutors in New York.

Bloomberg reports that the individuals -- three Chinese nationals and two naturalized U.S. citizens -- were arrested this week and charged with 24 separate counts including conspiracy, smuggling, illegal importation and distribution of goods, trafficking in counterfeit goods and criminal copyright infringement. All pled not guilty to the federal charges in a brief court hearing and were released on bail.

U.S. customs officials seized toys brought in by the defendants on 33 occasions between July 2005 and January, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Federal prosecutors say illegal toys were seized from a warehouse in Ridgewood, N.Y., as well as from stores around Queens and Brooklyn.

The unsafe toys allegedly posed choking hazards or contained toxic chemicals. The defendants also allegedly imported and sold unauthorized imitations of popular children's characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer, and Mickey Mouse, according to the DOJ.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by an unsafe product, contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation and to find out if a product liability lawyer may be able to help you.

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