Counterfeit sports hats were confiscated from a Georgetown liquor store and several cigarette shops following an investigation by trademark experts.
Officers with the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement observed a large number of professional sports team hats during a routine inspection of One Stop Liquor Mart in January, said Lt. Kevin Jones of the division.
Liquor stores are prohibited from selling professional sports team hats, Jones said, and the hats were determined to be counterfeit by a trademark investigator.
During a month-long investigation, Jones said, officers found counterfeit hats sold at other stores including DOT Discount Cigarettes in Millsboro, Selbyville, Lewes, Bethany Beach and Georgetown. A total of 2,321 hats were seized at an estimated value of over $27,500, Jones said.
Officers learned that the hats were distributed by Lizard Sunwear of Pennsylvania, which is not licensed to do business in Delaware.
The owner of Lizard Sunwear, Richard Petty, 70, of Malvern, Pa. turned himself in to authorities on Feb. 8 and was charged with felony trademark counterfeiting over 1,000 items and failure to obtain a business license, an unclassified misdemeanor. Petty was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 2 and released on $4,500 unsecured bond. A Lizard Sunwear employee was charged with trademark counterfeiting while making a delivery to a Delaware store, Jones said. The employee was released on $1,000 unsecured bond.