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Archive for June 22nd, 2021

CBP Seizes 85 Counterfeit Guitars Worth More Than $250,000

Counterfeit guitars seized by CBP. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

At first sight, it was an impressive collection of guitars. 

But a closer look revealed that the 85 guitars, including a Les Paul purportedly autographed by Slash from Guns N’ Roses, were clever counterfeits. 

The shipment from China was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Washington Dulles International Airport earlier this month, the agency announced Monday.  

Experts at CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise worked with trademark holders to confirm the guitars were fakes. 

The collection included 72 Gibsons, along with models from CF Martin, Fender, Kramer and Taylor. Some bore counterfeited autographs from other renowned guitars such as Les Paul and AC/DC’s Angus Young. 

If the guitars were authentic, they would have had a manufacturer’s retail price of more than $250,000.  

It was the second significant seizure of counterfeit guitars at Dulles Airport this year. 

If not detected, the guitars would have gone to 31 states. 

“The international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens the competitiveness of American businesses and the livelihoods of U.S. workers while funding criminal activity,”  Keith Fleming, CBP’s acting director of field operations in Baltimore, said in a news release. “More importantly, counterfeit goods pose a serious health and safety risk to American consumers. Customs and Border Protection, along with our law enforcement and consumer safety partners, remain committed to making it difficult and costly for unscrupulous vendors to take advantage of unsuspecting American consumers.”

CBP seized an average of $3.6 million worth of counterfeit products per day last year. 

Brian T. Gilhooly Named Special Agent in Charge of Mission Services Branch of FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office

Los Angeles Field Office, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Brian T. Gilhooly has been appointed special agent in charge of the Mission Services Branch of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. 

Gilhooly, who most recently served as a deputy assistant director in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., joined the FBI as a special agent in 2002. He worked worked in the San Francisco Field Office and served on the Safe Street Violent Gang Task Force and the SWAT Team. 

In 2009, Gilhooly became supervisory special agent in the Safe Streets Gang Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division at headquarters, serving as a program manager for the western region. 

In 2011, Gilhooly joined the San Diego Field Office and served as a field supervisor on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. In 2016, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the San Diego Intelligence Branch, which included the intelligence programs, as well as foreign language, IT, security, and other programs.  

In 2018, Gilhooly was promoted to section chief in the Counterterrorism Division. His section focused on the overseas terrorism threat, including prevention, investigation, and response to terrorism threats worldwide. It also included the Counterterrorism Fly Team and the Military Commissions Prosecution Unit. 

In 2019, Gilhooly was named deputy assistant director of the Counterterrorism Operations Branch in the Counterterrorism Division.   

Gilhooly received a bachelor’s degree in oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy.  He also served as a Navy SEAL officer in the Middle East and Pacific.