#AceNewsReport – Jan.30: While the past year has looked nothing like any year in recent history, one thing that won’t be different is the presence of the men and women of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at the Super Bowl. As it has done in other Super Bowl host cities over the last several years, HSI is working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement partners in the Tampa Bay area to provide essential public safety measures and help address criminal threats that the National Football League and host city may face leading up to and throughout Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7.
ICE/HSI Agents Ensuring Public Safety Tops HSI’s Mission at Super Bowl LV Against Criminal Threats on Fe.07: 2021:
As the returning champion Kansas City Chiefs and hometown favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers gear up for the big game, HSI and its partners are also in the midst of intensive planning and coordination to ensure that the Super Bowl LV is as safe and secure as possible. For HSI Tampa, these preparations started over a year ago, when the office first began working alongside its government partners and the NFL in support of the overall security mission for this significant national security event.
But HSI’s role at the Super Bowl doesn’t stop there. As the principal investigative arm of Department of Homeland Security, HSI personnel will be on the front lines of the interagency effort to mitigate the threat posed by criminal organizations seeking to exploit and profit from criminal activity, such as counterfeiting and human trafficking, conducted in and around the Super Bowl.
“ Tampa and the Tampa Bay area is excited to be hosting the Super Bowl, and despite the challenges of the pandemic, HSI Tampa is working hard to make sure this event is safe for everyone.” said HSI Tampa acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Sibley. “While our office supports intellectual property crime enforcement and counter-human trafficking missions all year, large-scale events like the Super Bowl typically bring specific types of increased criminal activity and HSI has been proactively working with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our communities and our visitors.”
Operation Team Player
Each year, Operation Team Player plays a key role at the Super Bowl.
A year-round effort developed by the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), its mission is to crack down on the illegal importation and sale of counterfeit sports apparel and entertainment products.
Unfortunately, spikes in counterfeit merchandise – goods that bear a trademark made to look identical to another’s registered trademark and produced on the same type of goods as those registered by the rightful trademark holder – tend to accompany prominent sporting events like the Super Bowl.
Personnel supporting Operation Team Player have worked through the years to identify warehouses, stores, flea markets, online vendors and street vendors selling counterfeit and game-related sportswear and tickets throughout the country. The IPR Center leads coordinated efforts with many of the United States’ major sporting leagues to target contraband that negatively impacts the economy, enables additional criminality and poses health and safety hazards to the public.
Also high on HSI Tampa’s priority list are efforts to combat human trafficking in the Bay area.
HSI Tampa personnel are working closely with local, state and federal partners to help the greater Tampa Bay area understand and more easily spot the indicators of human trafficking in their communities and help dispel the myths about who can be a victim of this terrible crime.
HSI is committed to ensuring that everyone who has come to Tampa Bay to enjoy the Super Bowl has done so of their own free will, and that those individuals and organizations involved in human trafficking and sexual exploitation networks are held accountable for their crimes.
As in years past, effective teamwork will be the key to success on and off the field during Super Bowl LV. For HSI, the size and scope of the task will again be met with personnel who are prepared to successfully execute the agency’s game plan and safeguard the city and everyone traveling to and from the Super Bowl.
#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Jan.30: 2021:
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