Jessica Pennick, left, Kotina Feaster
BUFORD — Gwinnett police uncovered an estimated $12,000 cache of counterfeit items during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85 in Buford, officials said.
The bulk of the haul was 78 pairs of Nike shoes worth around $11,000. Elsewhere in the 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix, police reportedly found knock-off UGG boots and a Louis Vuitton bag.
Police believe the load was picked up in metro Atlanta and was headed to South Carolina, where all three occupants of the Pontiac live.
The incident began as a traffic stop about 3 p.m. when an officer noticed the Pontiac traveling too closely behind another vehicle. At the car, the officer smelled burning marijuana and asked the occupants to step out, according to a Gwinnett police report.
The officer found the shoes, which included imitations of pricey Air Jordans, covered by a jacket in the back seat and in the trunk, the report states.
Police say one of the first clues the Nike shoes might be fake was the logo of Michael Jordan. The former NBA star had too many fingers, an officer wrote in his report.
“The (labels) were crooked and the tongues of the shoes did not match what a real Nike shoe should look like,” an officer wrote.
Kotina Feaster told police the shoes belonged to her, and that she’d been given them for free at a flea market. She told police she intended to sell some of the shoes and had no suspicions they were bogus, the report states.
Feaster, 39, of Rock Hill, and the driver, Jessica Pennick, 29, were arrested on felony charges of forged or counterfeited trademarks.
Police arrested another passenger, Charlotte resident William Pennick, 33, on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. All three suspects have been released from the Gwinnett County Jail on bond.
The shoes and bag were stored as evidence.