An arrest has been made after the Newport Police Department executed search warrants on 7 area businesses.
As What’sUpNewp previously reported, Sergeant Joseph Carroll confirmed on Wednesday, August 23rd that in June the Newport Police Department received information that several businesses operating in Newport were selling high-end counterfeit goods. Based on this information, the Newport Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division conducted a two-month long investigation which resulted in seven search warrants being issued for seven businesses throughout the city this week.
Sandra Gaines, a Middletown resident and owner of Vintage to Vogue and Vintage to Vogue Too, turned herself into Newport Police on September 7th and was charged with 8 counts of Forgery/Counterfeiting/Alter Trademarks, according to an arrest report that was provided to What’sUpNewp by Sergeant Carroll.
According to the arrest report, On September 6th Detective Wuest “called Sandra Gaines and advised her that she needed to respond to the station in regards to being charged with forgery/Counterfeiting/Alter Trademarks. We made arrangements for her to come to the station on 09-07-17 at 0830 hours. Sandra arrived at the station and Det. Sloan and I walked her to the Booking area. Det. Head booked her and I searched and fingerprinted her. She did not give a statement and was transported to the courthouse immediately after by Sgt. Sellers”.
Gaines was arraigned in Newport District Court and released on $1,000 personal recognizance and has been scheduled to appear in Newport Superior Court on November 16, 2017.
Hundreds of suspected counterfeit goods, such as jewelry, handbags and purses were seized from seven businesses back in August. The suspected goods counterfeited are high-end brand names and federally registered trademarks to include: Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Chanel. The retail value of the seized items totaled more than seven-hundred thousand dollars ($700,000).
Below is a list of the businesses that Newport Police Department has confirmed were served with the search warrants:
• Be Dazzled-23 America’s Cup Avenue
• Be Dazzled-225 Goddard Row
• Heaven on Earth-3 Christie’s Landing
• Chez Shell-408 Thames Street
• Heaven on Earth-431 Thames Street
• Vintage to Vogue-489 Thames Street
• Vintage to Vogue Too-489 Thames Street
According to past city council docket records, the seven stores appear to be operated by 4 different owners, with 3 owners each owning two of the served stores.
Sandra “Shana” Gaines owns Vintage to Vogue and Vintage to Vogue Too on Thames Street.
Patricia Vecchione owns Heaven on Earth on Thames Street and on Christie’s Landing.
Jennifer Solimine owns Be Dazzled on America’s Cup Avenue and on Goddard Row.
It is unclear who owns Chez Shell on Thames Street, What’sUpNewp is working to confirm this information.
This incident is still under investigation.