COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A Tabor City woman is accused of selling counterfeit items, including sandals, headphones and purses, in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Carroll Ann Barnes, 32, was arrested Monday and charged with criminal use of counterfeit trademarks.
Officials with the Columbus County Sheriff's Office say that the investigation is ongoing and more charges are forthcoming.
After receiving an anonymous tip, criminal investigators with the sheriff's office observed Barnes meeting multiple people in the parking lot of the Big Lots in Whiteville and exchanging items.
Investigators said when they approached Barnes they "observed several totes and boxes of items inside of the vehicle," and that the "quantity of items in her possession exceeded what the average person would sell on a buy, sell, trade site."
The items were seized and during the investigation officials say they learned that Barnes received orders for trademarked items like Rainbow sandals, Beats headphones, Michael Kors purses and Oakley sunglasses, through a Facebook page
"The Facebook page was a closed group, meaning a potential customer would have to be accepted to the page by the admins of the group," the sheriff's office said in a release. "The defendant would advertise a specific 'buy' or item with a closing date. The 'buys' would run for approximately two weeks and would have a minimum order quantity. If the minimum order quantity was met by the closing date, the defendant would then order the items from overseas."
Customers would pay for the items through Paypal and then would wait for the packages to arrive. Officials say Barnes would then meet customers in public parking spots in Tabor City and Whiteville, as well as Loris, S.C.
The sheriff's office requested the help of the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State's Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, which determined all 190 items seized were counterfeit. The retail value if the seized items was estimated to exceed $18,500.