FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport seized over 19 pounds of sugarcane discovered in a passenger’s suitcase by a CBP K-9. The traveler arrived from Port-au-Prince, Haiti on June 16.
The passenger did not declare the sugarcane when asked by CBP agriculture specialists if they had any fruits, plants or meat products. The individual was referred for agriculture secondary inspection and declined to amend the declaration.
CBP officers searched the suitcase and discovered the stalks of sugarcane. CBP seized the sugarcane and assessed a mitigated penalty for failing to declare the products. The prohibited items were seized and disposed of into the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulated garbage for incineration.
“CBP agriculture K-9s are an important tool used for screening passengers and cargo to prevent smuggling and the potential introduction of harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases from entering the United States,” said Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Port Director Jorge Roig. “Agriculture specialists work closely with their CBP K-9s as our first line of defense at our ports of entry.”
It’s imperative to declare agricultural items and present them to CBP for inspection so that an agriculture specialist can determine if it is admissible or not. CBP agriculture specialists serve as experts in the areas of inspections, intelligence, analysis, examinations and regulatory enforcement activities relating to the importation of agricultural commodities.
To see more CBP activity in Florida, visit the @CBPFlorida Twitter page.
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.