Three Men Arrested in a Counterfeit Label Raid

Police have arrested three people in connection with a raid at two Columbus Businesses Tuesday evening.

Roderick Kelley, Zack Stevens, and Walter Hewell were all arrested Tuesday evening. They are charged with counterfeit trademarks and are being held in the Muscogee County Jail on bond.

A tip from an out-of-town agency and three weeks of investigation led Columbus Police to thousands of dollars in designer knock-offs from two different businesses on North Lumpkin Road.

"Someone comes in, and purchases the merchandise," said Lt. Gil Slouchick.  "It's taken back, it's sent off, and its determined by experts to be counterfeit, and the experts work directly with places like Nike."

Investigators spent the better part of Tuesday at Choose Shoes and Blush Fashions, separating the real from the fake.  Police tell us several people have been taken into custody, and they do anticipate making two, if not more, arrests.

Neighboring business owner Chong Shipe says it's a shock.

"I feel kind of sorry for them, has to do that way to get the money for living," said Shipe, owner of Seagull Seafood Market.  "It's just sad."

Shipe says she knows the owners of both businesses.  Not only that, she's also been a customer--showing us Nikes she says came from Choose Shoes.

"I paid too much for them," Shipe said.  "It doesn't feel good for what you paid too much for."

This is the second counterfeit trademark bust Columbus Police have made this year.  In January, Wow Fashion on Buena Vista Road was hit, and nearly half a million in phoney goods confiscated.