Thousands of counterfeit shoes found during highway stop; Alhambra man arrested

An Alhambra man was arrested for allegedly transporting thousands of counterfeit tennis shoes on Interstate 5 near Los Baños Friday morning.

Officers Joel Gonzalez and Josh Clements stopped a 2000 Mitsubishi box truck traveling southbound on the highway at 8:14 a.m., according to the California High Patrol Los Baños office.

The vehicle reportedly had a defective brake light.

Officers inspected the truck and eventually determined that the driver, 41-year-old Meiqtao Tao, did not have a valid motor carrier permit for intrastate operation in California. The truck was registered to Hua Xing Moving Company of Alhambra.

While inspecting the load, 4,000 pairs of Nike and Creative Recreation Shoes were discovered, CHP officials said. The CHP, with help from the Nike corporation and other law enforcement agencies, determined that the shoes were counterfeit with an estimated value of $1 million.

Tao was arrested on suspicion of possession of fraudulent copyright products and operating without a valid motor carrier permit.

Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com