Customs officials seize 85 counterfeit guitars from China

STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport recently intercepted 85 counterfeit guitars, their second large-scale instrument seizure at the Sterling, Virginia, facility of 2021.

>> Read more trending news

If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of nearly $260,000, the agency stated in a news release.

The seizure, which began March 31 and concluded June 9, netted 72 Gibson models, as well as CF Martin, Fender, Kramer and Taylor guitars from a Chinese shipment.

According to the agency, the highest value model was a Les Paul allegedly autographed by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash that, if authentic, would have appraised for $8,000. Other guitars bore autographs purporting to belong to renowned guitarist Les Paul and AC/DC’s Angus Young.

The guitars were en route to addresses in 31 states, including 10 that were California-bound, as well as four destined for Virginia, three each to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two to West Virginia and one to Delaware.

In January, CPB officers seized another 36 counterfeit guitars in a separate shipment from China that, if genuine, would have been valued at roughly $160,000, the agency stated.