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                        Super Bowl-Phony Tickets
   TEMPE, Ariz. -- A small number of phony Super Bowl tickets
have been seized by authorities and several people have been
arrested -- including a man nabbed by the victims of a
counterfeiter.
   Bill Everly, 29, led police to the man with the help of his
friends and family.
   "We were our own SWAT team," he said with a laugh.
   Last week, Everly flew to Arizona from Chambersburg, Pa., hoping
to buy some Super Bowl tickets once he arrived. He and his
girlfriend eventually bought two of them for $550 each.
   But something made Everly nervous and he asked a legitimate
broker to examine the tickets, which were for Section 140, Row 6,
Seats 15 and 16. The tickets were fake -- just one pair of an
unknown number of counterfeit tickets printed with the same seat
numbers.
   Everly and his clan immediately headed back to downtown Tempe,
where they had purchased the phony tickets, and set out to find the
culprit. They spotted him a half an hour later.
   Eugene Ross, 41, was arrested by police and booked on one count
of theft and "criminal simulation" of tickets. Ross, who did not
give an address, was being held Sunday in lieu of $1,590 bail.
   Details about the number of confiscations or arrests were not
immediately available Sunday. Warren Welsh, NFL director of
security, said he could not provided specific numbers.
   Some of the counterfeit tickets were color copies of valid $350
face-value tickets for seats identical to the ones Everly thought
he had, Welsh said.
   Those copies resembled valid tickets except that they lacked a
cactus hologram printed on the back of tickets as a security
device.
   "We know where the ticket originally started. We can trace it
from there. It will be part of our investigative work," Welsh
said.
   Other counterfeit tickets seized were of poorer quality, "not
even close to what the ticket looks like," he said. "The problem
is that people want to believe that what they're purchasing is the
real thing."
   Officer Les Strickland, a Tempe Police Department spokesman,
said "several" arrests related to counterfeit tickets were made
Saturday but said he could not provide specifics.
   Strickland said the arrests were made by plainclothes officers
who observed tickets being offered for sale on the street or who
responded to calls from the public about suspicious tickets.
   Ticket scalping is legal in Arizona providing that the
transaction is at least 200 yards from the site of the event.

 

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