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  4. CBP Agriculture Specialists Discover 11 Undeclared, Dead Reptiles at Brownsville Port of Entry

CBP Agriculture Specialists Discover 11 Undeclared, Dead Reptiles at Brownsville Port of Entry

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas — During a recent examination, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agriculture specialists at Brownsville Port of Entry came across a grim, unusual discovery: undeclared dead reptiles encased in jars.

“Our frontline CBP officers and agriculture specialists have literally seen it all, but this discovery of reptiles in jars is a bit of an odd encounter,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry. “This seizure illustrates the important role our agriculture specialists and officers play in enforcing laws on behalf of federal partners, in this case, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and preventing the illegal transport of commercial quantities of animal species without the requisite importation paperwork.”

One of 11 jars containing undeclared, dead reptiles encountered by CBP officers and agriculture specialists at Brownsville Port of Entry
One of 11 jars containing undeclared, dead reptiles
discovered by CBP officers and agriculture
specialists at Brownsville Port of Entry.

The seizure occurred on Feb. 1 at Veterans International Bridge, when CBP officers referred a vehicle for a secondary examination. During the examination, CBP officers and agriculture specialists discovered 11 plastic jars containing deceased reptiles. The driver did not declare and lacked requisite import paperwork for the reptiles from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The incident remains under investigation by FWS. The reptiles were seized and turned over to FWS.

For more information on proper importation of wildlife and animal products, see the following FWS link and the following U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) link.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Laredo Field Office on Twitter at @DFOLaredo and on Instagram at @dfolaredo for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

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Last Modified: February 3, 2021