2 jewelry store owners arrested for over $31M in counterfeit goods

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two Northwest Miami-Dade jewelry store owners were arrested during an investigation that revealed more than $31 million in counterfeit goods.

The investigation led the Miami-Dade Police’s Northside District, alongside Homeland Security Investigations, to The Lord of the Rings jewelry store, at 6230 S.W. 8th St. According to investigators, their investigation hinted towards the possible sale of counterfeit goods — such as Cartier, Chanel, Rolex, and Tiffany — at the store.

A tip was reportedly given to investigators that labeled the Lord of the Rings store to be the major supplier of counterfeit goods in South Miami-Dade.

“They were exact counterfeit copies with the output from this business being the main supplier in the South Dade area,” said Miami-Dade Detective Michael Hufnagel, Jr. “When we went to this business, as soon as you walk in, you can see on the sales floor replicas of several different name brands.”

Officials arrested the owner of the jewelry store, 57-year-old Tania Varona, on March 7. The final arrest was made on Tuesday when investigators cuffed 40-year-old co-owner Jimmy Hernandez.

Both Varona and Hernandez have since bonded out but have been charged with a second-degree felony of selling counterfeit goods worth more than $20,000.

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