Federal prosecutors say they've charged a German firm with selling and smuggling into the United States badges described as "virtually identical" to genuine badges worn by FBI agents and other law enforcers.

A federal complaint, unsealed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta states that undercover operations resulted in the charges. The probe stemmed from the April arrest of a man accused of posing as a federal officer in Doraville, Georgia.

J. Britt Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI's Atlanta field office, said dismantling a foreign company's ability to sell counterfeit U.S. law enforcement badges is "critical in the post 9/11 era."

Federal authorities say they shut down one website used by Kaarst, Germany-based Master-Equipment. Company representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.