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Customs seizure Boys’ and Girls Club’s gain

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Thanks to the federal government, the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club is a clothier.

No smart shirts and ties to sell, though. Rather, stashed away in a storage room at the 610 Paterson St. club are 10 bulging cardboard boxes marked “EVIDENCE” containing 162 hooded sweatshirts, 83 T-shirts, six hockey jerseys, one pair of athletic socks and a tabletop heat press for putting on logos.

It is all to be given away.

Valued at an estimated $4,500, the clothing and appliance were confiscated May 31 at the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

The New York City-area man who brought the merchandise into the country from Canada hadn’t bothered to check with a Customs broker. That is required when bringing clothing into the U.S. from a foreign country. It should have been declared, which is a statement showing goods being imported on which duty will have to be paid.

The man did not declare them and did not pay duty. He went home without his merchandise and, apparently, his sports apparel business.

“It was undeclared merchandise,” said Customs and Border Protection Ogdensburg Port Director Timothy J. Walker. “He never tried to make right.”

Mr. Walker said Tuesday it isn’t very often his agency donates forfeited undeclared merchandise. But when it does happen, it’s gratifying.

“It’s a good feeling to give to the local community,” he said.

Club Executive Director Thomas P. Luckie Jr. is appreciative.

“This is all going to be given away to all the kids who come here,” he said Tuesday.

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