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Federal agents seize more than $723,000 in fake sports gear leading up to NHL Winter Classic

DETROIT - U.S. officials say Homeland Security agents seized about 6,100 pieces of counterfeit hockey merchandise and other sportswear valued at more than $723,000 during a three-month initiative leading up to NHL Winter Classic events.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday that jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other items worth more than $32,500 were seized in the Detroit area.

"Operation Team Player" targets counterfeit sports merchandise from all major sports leagues. Most items seized were fake NHL merchandise.

The National Hockey League's Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs was played Wednesday before 100,000 fans at the outdoor Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Homeland Security agent Marlon Miller says makers use "inferior materials" for look-alikes that don't benefit the teams, players or the associations with trademarked sports gear.

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