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Federal customs authorities seized thousands of counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills at John F. Kennedy International Airport this week, authorities said.

Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection flagged a cargo shipment from Hong King labeled “Farsan Sweet Dryfruit” for inspection on Thursday, February 17, 2011. When officers opened the container, they found almost 20,000 pills inside, authorities said.

Officers examined the pills and identified them as counterfeit sildenafil , tadalafil , and vardenafil — erectile dysfunction drugs marketed in the United States under the brand names Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, respectively.

Authorities seized the pills because counterfeits and generics are considered violations of trademark and FDA regulations in the U.S.

“The illicit trade in pharmaceuticals poses a serious health and safety risk,” said Robert Perez, the director of field operations for the local field office of Customs and Border Protection. “CBP officers in the greater New York area are some of the best trained law enforcement officers in the nation who are dedicated to their mission of intercepting unlawful items that adversely affect our nation’s communities.”

CBP officials estimated the value of the pills at more than $220,000.

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