Federal agents have seized roughly 10 million fake 3M brand N95 masks in recent weeks as part of an ongoing investigation into counterfeits sold in at least five states. (Feb. 17)
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: I joined acting ICE director Johnson in pride in announcing today that over the last few weeks, Homeland Security investigations, the criminal investigative arm of ICE, has seized over 11 million counterfeit N95 respirators intended to be used by frontline health care workers throughout the nation. That includes a seizure earlier today with special agents of Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, as it is commonly known, seizing more than one million counterfeit masks as part of an ongoing investigation into a criminal enterprise distributing counterfeit masks throughout the United States.
In the past two weeks, HSI has conducted multiple criminal search warrants and seized counterfeit masks and operations conducted in five states from coast to coast, with more enforcement actions expected in the coming weeks. HSI was able to work quickly on leads provided by 3M, a legitimate mask manufacturer, a household name, to track down the criminals who put the lives of hospital workers and first responders at risk, or who take advantage of our fears.
Since the start of the pandemic, our agents have also been investigating fraudulent coronavirus test kits, counterfeit items, financial scams, and fake medicines. We just implore the public to be aware of websites or individuals selling products claiming to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19.