PHILADELPHIA – United States Legal professional Jacqueline Romero introduced that Emiliano Rodriguez, 45, a citizen of the Dominican Republic residing in Philadelphia, PA pleaded guilty to a person depend of trafficking in counterfeit merchandise, and two counts of triggering the supply of dangerous resources by air carrier in link with a scheme to employ counterfeit products in employed vehicles, which he then resold to unsuspecting clients.
From at minimum in or about January 2017 by way of on or about Oct 30, 2019, defendant Rodriguez, an car mechanic, fraudulently imported airbags from China and installed these faulty parts in salvaged autos which ended up then reintroduced to the consumer marketplace. China has been determined as the major exporter of counterfeit commodities, including counterfeit airbags. People associated in the trade of counterfeit airbags engage in this apply in an effort to maximize revenue from their income by decreasing the costs of the sections utilised to substitute the original merchandise. Unsuspecting motorists purchase remanufactured motor vehicles unaware of the background or the substandard/faulty element(s) utilised in the automobile reconstruction. After purchased and driven on community streets, the cars expose the driver, passengers and typical general public to the hazards involved with auto malfunctions thanks to the use of substandard elements. Some of these malfunctions may perhaps involve tires vulnerable to blow-outs, brakes unable to endure the superior temperatures related with highway driving speeds, and airbags incapable of well timed inflation or around-inflation that end result in the death or serious injuries of the driver or other people uncovered to the faulty airbag. In this scenario, federal agents recovered a lot more than 450 counterfeit airbags and components from Rodriguez’s home and company.
“Counterfeit airbags are actively playing Russian roulette with the life of unsuspecting customers,” said U.S. Lawyer Romero. “The National Freeway Targeted visitors Basic safety Administration notes that counterfeits have constantly been shown to malfunction. Emiliano Rodriguez peddled these airbags for financial gain, understanding life would be at possibility. Individuals have to also be mindful of the threat. Our place of work will proceed to function with federal, condition, and nearby legislation enforcement associates to keep these unsafe counterfeit items from remaining imported.”
“Emiliano Rodriguez’s plea should serve as a potent warning that disreputable actors could circumvent our legal guidelines and safety protocols by utilizing worldwide commerce to get and set up defective, unsafe, and counterfeit machines in order to make a income,” explained Distinctive Agent in Demand of Homeland Safety Investigations Philadelphia William S. Walker. “In all commercial transactions, we urge shoppers to perform their very own exploration and only buy from highly regarded dealers who have a verifiable keep track of file of legal functionality. The repercussions of not performing so can be dire, like monetary losses or even the reduction of lifestyle or limb.”
“Today’s announcement is a sober reminder that the basic safety of the general public is set at grave risk when counterfeit airbags are illegally transported by air and later released into the sector and automobiles traveling on our streets,” claimed Christopher A. Scharf, Exclusive Agent in Demand, Department of Transportation Office environment of Inspector Common, Northeastern Area. “As we keep on performing with our law enforcement and prosecutorial associates, we also really encourage the community to assessment sources accessible at https://www.nhtsa.gov/gear/air-luggage#the-matter-phony-air-bags.”
The defendant faces a utmost attainable sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, fines of $50,000, and a $200 distinctive assessment. As a non-U.S. citizen, he also faces deportation.
The scenario was investigated by the Office of Homeland Protection, Homeland Protection Investigations and the Section of Transportation, and is remaining prosecuted by Assistant United States Lawyer M. Beth Leahy.
An indictment, information and facts, or prison complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed harmless except if and till confirmed responsible.