Houston - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists commonly discover exotic food items concealed in passengers' luggage, after all, international cuisine is for a cultured palate; however, when bringing items that are found on the endangered species list, they will not wind up on the dinner table.
An international traveler arriving from El Salvador was attempting to import 12 sea turtle eggs. All species of sea turtles are endangered and their importation is prohibited by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Our officers are vigilant and committed to enforcing all U.S. laws including those protecting our endangered species," said Houston CBP Director of Field Operations, Jeffrey O. Baldwin.
The endangered sea turtle eggs were seized and turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The eggs will be sent to South Padre Island, Texas where they will undergo DNA analysis.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently investigating the matter.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.