Independent distributor Rogelio Vasquez, aka Roger Vasquez aka James Harrison, pleaded guilty on December 27, 2018 to knowingly supplying counterfeit parts to the US military including parts that were historically used in military applications including the B-1 Lancer Bomber aircraft. If the counterfeit ICs had been used in the B-1, they, “would have likely caused impairment of the combat operations, or other significant harm to a combat operation because a failure of the counterfeit ICs would impact the B-1’s operational capabilities."
A record number of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) violations were reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in FY2016.
In the last few years there has been a flurry of legislative activity relative to counterfeit electronic parts in the DoD supply chain. In 2007 concerns were raised by the U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) who asked the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Office of Technology Evaluation (OTE) to conduct a defense industrial base assessment of counterfeit electronics. NAVAIR had reason to suspect an increasing number of counterfeit and defective electronics were entering the DoD supply chain, which would adversely impact weapon system reliability. NAVAIR’s suspicions were confirmed. The BIS study titled “Defense Industrial Base Assessment: Counterfeit Electronics” was published in January 2010. The report’s findings prompted a swift response from Senators Carl Levin and John McCain in March 2011 when they launched a deeper investigation into counterfeit electronics part activity via the Senate Armed Service Committee (SASC). In November 2011, the SASC held a hearing with DoD contractors, industry associations and others in Washington D.C. to explore the problem of counterfeit electronic parts infiltrating critical defense systems and the risk those parts pose to such systems.
Kristal Snider & Mary Dunham, ERAI
On April 24, 2012 federal agents searched the office of Epic International Electronics, Inc., a home based business owned and operated by Peter and Lisa Picone. At the time the U.S. Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) would only confirm the search was the result of an "active investigation". Fourteen months later, on June 25, 2013, Peter Picone was formally charged in an eightcount indictment with conspiring to traffic in counterfeit goods, conspiring to traffic in counterfeit military goods, trafficking in counterfeit goods, conspiring to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiring to commit money laundering.