Yesterday we(Marcie, Magen, Keaton, Sherry, Lyndi, Jett, Frank and I) went to Santuck. It is a monthly flea market in Santuck, AL. We have not been since it started up again in March. They are closed January and February. We got there about eight and from the moment we got there we noticed a helicopter circling the area and met some State ABI officers. As we began to walk the land and shop we found out what was going on. It was a major bust! According to Kevin Taylor, a writer for the Wetumpka Herald more than 100 agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security confiscated more then 2 million dollars of counterfeit merchandise....while we were there! The seizure is believed to be the largest confiscation of counterfeit merchandise in the state in recent history, according to Bryan Cox, public affairs officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As of noon at least 47 vendors of the hundreds, which sell various merchandise on the first Saturday of each month in the rural Elmore County community, had 60,000 suspected counterfeit merchandise confiscated. "The merchandise ranged from hats to handbags and shoes to electronics," Cox said. Agents arrived on the scene around 8 a.m. with a tractor trailer filled with flat cardboard boxes. By noon, forklifts were transferring boxes filled with merchandise to a central site to be logged in and loaded into the same trailer. "Criminals who sell counterfeit products are economic parasites who harm legitimate businesses that pay taxes, create jobs, and support our national economy," said Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. "Anyone who thinks counterfeiting is a victimless crime should realize that profits of these black market sales are routinely diverted to support further criminal activity such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and even potential terrorism." Cox said the investigation into counterfeit merchandise being sold at Santuck has been ongoing for several months by undercover agents. The officer we talked to told us it started last year. The merchandise that was legit was left alone. We encountered several angry shoppers but for the most part everyone else did what we did....watched the story unfold. At one location we watched one of the officers take the radio antennae off a mini van and open the vehicle with it. He then screwed it back on, opened the van, and began photographing all the merchandise that was in it. People were led off in handcuffs and taken to their cars to get the rest of the products. It was all done very quietly....there was no shouting by the officers, they simply did their jobs. I hope the people learned their lesson....but I am saddened by the fact that they will be back in business soon....probably somewhere else....but still back in business. Sorry ladies...but you will have to get your Michael Korr purses somewhere else. What a day.....what an adventure. If anyone ever says, "Remember when Santuck was raided?" I can respond with, "yep....I was there!:
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.