Nearly 2 Million Counterfeit N95 Masks Seized in Long Island

NEW YORK -
A worker helps to load a shipment of N95 masks at a warehouse in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Police raided a Long Island warehouse and seized 1.7 million fake medical grade masks, and arrested the manager.

“We believe this to be one of the largest single seizures of counterfeit masks since the pandemic began,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz at a news conference.

The counterfeit 3M N95 masks were going to have been sold to unsuspecting medical workers, who were prepared for buy them for $2.95 to $3.25 each, when a real 3M brand N95 mask is sold for $1.27.

The masks were actually substandard ones that were being repackaged with N95 labels, ABC 7 reported.

“These items were packed in boxes, piled high on more than 100 shipping pallets,” said Katz, who noted conditions in the warehouse were unsanitary, and alleged the manager and other workers were knowingly attempting to defraud health care systems. The fraud masks may not even provide protection, much less the high quality filtration frontline health care workers need to protect themselves in hospitals.

“We do know they put themselves out as N95 masks. We do know they were packaged fraudulently in different boxes that are not in fact from 3M,” said Katz. “We are analyzing the masks now to see whether or not they provide any protection or all the protection, but there is no way of knowing that from looking at it.”

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smarcus@hamodia.com