FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Fort Myers flea market is defending itself after a massive counterfeit bust.
Deputies seized $100,000 worth of counterfeit music and clothing from a vendor at the Ortiz Flea Market.
Now workers are speaking out, saying there's more to the story than you might think.
Linda Forehand says if they knew about it, the flea market wouldn't have allowed it. But they had no idea a major sting was underway until they walked outside to see yellow tape surrounding one of their vendor's booths on Saturday. The Recording Industry Association of America was doing its own investigation and alerted authorities here to thousands of counterfeit DVDs, CDs, and clothing.
The flea market tells WINK the three people arrested didn't know they were selling bad merchandise. Managers say the vendors bought their items from Miami and resold them here, thinking they were legitimate copies.
"They're just trying to make a living. They're not out robbing people and stealing," said Forehand.
But shoppers here say this is par for the course at flea markets all across Southwest Florida.
"A lot of stuff that is stolen who knows where it came from winds up at flea markets. I'm here to capitalize on that because that's what America is all about," said Michael Saboda.
Saboda doesn't come here often, but he can't believe officials from the RIAA are taking notice of this small flea market in Southwest Florida.