Customs Seizes, Destroys 450 Illegal Pork Tamales

Pork Tamales seized (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized and destroyed 450 illegal pork tamales from an airline passenger arriving in Los Angeles (LAX) from Mexico on November 2. The passenger was also caught lying about the contents of his luggage.

Customs declined to provide further details about the passenger in a Wednesday release regarding the incident. (Update: Breitbart News received confirmation from CBP in Los Angeles late on Thursday that the traveler who passed through customs with the tamales is indeed a Mexican national.)

“Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by outbreaks of Avian Influenza, Mad Cow and Swine Fever,” said Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “Every day CBP agriculture specialists prevent the intentional and unintentional introduction of harmful pests and foreign animal diseases into the U.S.”

The person traveling in from Mexico was assessed a $1,000 fine for “commercial activity with the intent to distribute” according to a CBP statement released Wednesday.

The incident is somewhat reminiscent of a case in which a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer was sentenced to 30 months in prison for taking money and food in exchange for grating foreign nationals U.S. citizenship or green cards. Examples of bribes taken included 200 egg rolls in one case, and $1,000 in another.

Just last month, CBP officers at Newark Liberty International Airport seized a variety of food products after discovering that they contained cocaine. The individual was turned over to the Port Authority Police Department to face narcotics smuggling charges on discovery of the illegal substances.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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