U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists assigned to the Bridge of the Americas and Santa Teresa border crossings seized 230 pounds of prohibited pork bologna on two separate unrelated incidents in recent days.
“People will sometimes make light of these seizures but there is nothing funny about these failed smuggling attempts,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha. “The importation of unregulated pork products has the potential to introduce foreign animal diseases which can be detrimental to our nation’s agriculture industry.”
The first seizure was made Feb. 25, at the Bridge of the Americas border crossing from a married couple from El Paso, Texas, traveling in separate vehicles. The first vehicle driven by a 23-year-old male U.S. citizen presented himself for inspection and gave a negative agriculture declaration to the primary CBP Officer. The vehicle was referred for a secondary inspection where rolls of prohibited pork bologna were discovered hidden in the vehicle. The driver admitted that his friend paid him to import the bologna. Shortly thereafter, the driver’s wife was referred for a secondary inspection where more bologna was discovered. A total of 110 pounds of bologna were seized from both travelers.
The second discovery was made at the Santa Teresa border crossing Feb. 28, when a 59-year-old male, U.S. citizen resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico presented himself for inspection via vehicle primary lanes. The driver gave a negative agriculture declaration to the primary CBP Officer who referred the vehicle for a secondary inspection. During a secondary non-intrusive inspection, CBP Officers identified anomalies in the vehicle’s cargo area. Further search resulted in the discovery of 13 rolls of prohibited pork bologna with a total weight of 120 pounds.
The individuals were issued civil penalties for failure to declare commercial quantities of bologna. The bologna was seized and destroyed by CBP per USDA regulations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security are partners in the effort to protect American agriculture against the introduction of pests and diseases at our nation’s ports of entry. Undeclared prohibited agriculture items will be confiscated and can result in the issuance of a civil penalty for failure to declare.