The seized shipment is just the latest example of fraudsters trying to take advantage of counterfeit personal protective equipment. This trend started in the early days of the pandemic, when the shortage of masks and other equipment was widespread.
As the first wave of the pandemic approached in March, China struggled to shut down tens of thousands of stores making counterfeit masks and other testing equipment, some of which were shipped overseas. In April, two men were arrested in California for selling a $ 4 million supply of non-existent masks.
According to the C.B.P. Overseas criminal organizations are still trying to export a wide variety of counterfeit devices related to the coronavirus. "Among other things, these criminals smuggle and sell counterfeit security equipment, unapproved Covid-19 test kits, undetected drugs and low-quality hygiene products via the online market," said the agency.
Sleeping jurors, hushed attorneys, I.T. Support of the plaintiff: Technical breakdowns and other problems affect virtual processes.
The clashes ended on Thursday after a series of technical glitches and at least three applications for legal proceedings in what is arguably the longest virtual jury trial in the country.
The defendants in the case – an asbestos-related lawsuit filed in Alameda County, California – complained that during the trial the jury appeared to be sleeping, exercising, and caring for children, and that they were friends with the plaintiff, him to help in creating a virtual suit background for his video feed. The defendants' lawyers said they could not see the jury's reactions because there was no camera aimed at them, and the lawyers said they could not object for a while because they were muted.
Alameda County's Supreme Court Justice Brad Seligman declined to declare a mistrial.
The pandemic has forced courts across the country to hold virtual hearings. with mixed results. A judge in Florida warned attorneys not to appear shirtless or in bed. A federal hearing on Georgia’s voting machines was hacked and showed 9/11 pictures, a swastika and pornography. Lawyers and academics have raised numerous concerns about fairness, including questioning whether video changes the perception of credibility.
Remote control had a number of effects, said Paula Hannaford-Agor, director of the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts. More people are showing up for their court dates, but the jury pools are whiter, more masculine and younger, Ms. Hannaford-Agor said, likely because of the need to have access to technology in order to participate.