CLIFTON - Police say a butcher shop in Clifton has been exposed as a counterfeit handbag operation.
Cynthia Mansilla was arrested for running the alleged fraudulent business. More than 1,500 fake bags, watches and sunglasses with a street value of $500,000 were seized from the storefront. Officers believe the merchandise was being smuggled in from outside the U.S.
Police were tipped off to the scheme when an officer observed someone leaving the store with several women's purses.
"This kind of operation really attacks the fabric of our nation," Passaic County Sheriff Richard Bernik says. "These illegal counterfeit goods affect people, manufacturing jobs, distribution. People don't pay taxes on these items."
Mansilla is being held in the Passaic County jail, charged with possessing and selling counterfeit merchandise.