San Fernando Valley Police Arrest Convicted Felon for Ghost Gun and Counterfeit Watch Sales

San Fernando Valley Police Arrest Convicted Felon for Ghost Gun and Counterfeit Watch Sales

Photo: (photograph of the handgun recovered/photograph of the seized watches) /


The Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, specifically the Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit (IPCU), recently made a significant arrest in the San Fernando Valley. Albert Bantug, a 33-year-old ex-convict, was apprehended for selling counterfeit Rolex watches. His bail was set at Zero Bail.

  • Arrest Details: On January 11, 2024, at approximately 11 a.m., law enforcement officials apprehended Albert Bantug near the 20000 block of Vanowen Street.
  • Discovery of Illegal Items: Upon arresting Bantug, detectives discovered a semi-automatic loaded handgun in his front waistband. Authorities identified this firearm as a ‘ghost gun’ because it lacks serial numbers. Additionally, they seized several counterfeit Rolex watches that he possessed.

Charges and Legal Implications

  1. Felon in Possession of a Firearm (29800(a)1 PC): Bantug faces this charge due to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. California Penal Code 29800(a)(1) strictly prohibits felons from owning, purchasing, receiving, or having in their custody or control any firearm. If convicted, he could face up to three years in county jail.
  2. Trademark Infringement (350(a) PC): The counterfeit Rolex watches led to a charge of trademark infringement under California Penal Code 350(a). This law makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess for sale any counterfeit mark registered with the California Secretary of State or the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Conviction could lead to up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000

Consumer Safety Warning

  • Health Risks of Counterfeits: The LAPD warns that counterfeit products, like the seized watches, can be hazardous to health. Reports have surfaced of counterfeit watches and jewelry containing dangerous levels of lead and other harmful metals. Counterfeit manufacturers often bypass the rigorous materials and safety testing standards adhered to by legitimate brands.

Prevention Tips

  • Safe Purchasing Practices: Consumers should buy only from authorized dealers or directly from manufacturers to avoid fake products. They need to carefully research the suppliers’ names and locations.
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