- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2019

Customs authorities said Friday they have already intercepted more than 300 counterfeit Bryce Harper jerseys destined for Philadelphia, looking to take advantage of the city’s newest superstar acquisition.

If the bogus No. 3 jerseys had reached the market they would have netted about $44,000, according to Customs and Border Protection, the Homeland Security agency that guards the ports of entry, screening visitors and cargo alike.

Mr. Harper had played for the Washington Nationals until he bolted as a free agent this year, moving up Interstate 95 to sign with the team’s bitter rival, the Phillies.

Since opening day about three weeks ago CBP has confiscated 314 jerseys and “detained many more.” Officials said the shipments came from Hong Kong, and were headed to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware — the Phillies’ fan base.

The bogus jerseys use “substandard” and sometimes dangerous materials, and importing them can deprive American companies of revenue, CBP said in announcing its enforcement efforts.

“Transnational criminal organizations counterfeit popular consumer products and Mr. Harper’s Phillies jersey is among the hottest consumer goods selling today, so it was a good bet that we’d start seeing counterfeit Harper jerseys,” said Casey Durst, director of field operations for CBP in Baltimore.

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