We all have our favorite foods, and sometimes we will go to the ends of the earth—or just across town—to get our hands on them. But, whether we would risk a $1,000 civil penalty for our beloved snacks is questionable. Well, someone thought it was worth it and tried to best the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations at their searches by hiding 23 rolls of Mexican bologna, or 227 pounds of what we can assume is their favorite meat, at the El Paso, Texas, border. The possibility of the pork in the rolls to infect the U.S.’s pork industry with foreign animal diseases is what made this smuggling attempt so dangerous, which is why it is a strictly prohibited bologna product.
“CBP is entrusted with enforcing hundreds of laws for dozens other government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others,” said Beverly Good, CBP's El Paso Port Director, in a recent press release from the organization. “These agencies require that unsafe items are not allowed to enter the United States. CBP officers are always on duty at our ports of entry and assume the responsibility of protecting America from all threats.”
The smuggler’s plot was foiled Wednesday, November 29, at 7:00 a.m. when the driver reached the Paso Del Norte International Crossing; it was at this point that CBP officers performed an enforcement operation in the line of vehicles crossing the border, which proclaimed the absence of any fruits, vegetables, meats, meat products, alcohol, or tobacco. The female driver of the car declared she possessed none of the aforementioned products at the inspection point, but in the secondary exam, she amended her statement by confessing to her “Salchicha” bologna goods. CBP agriculture specialists located the rolls hidden under her floor mats, seized and destroyed them, and assessed the driver with a $1,000 civil penalty.
Anti-terrorism is the focal point for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations, but the inspections at the ports of entry as detailed in this case show just how far-reaching enforcement acts in all categories when keeping our country, and consequently our industry, safe from harm's way.