EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations Agriculture Specialists working at the El Paso area port of entry seized 14 rolls of Mexican bologna on Thursday. Bologna is a prohibited product because it is made from pork and has the potential for introducing foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry.
The seizure was made at approximately 9:00 a.m. at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing after a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado with New Mexico license plates entered the port from Mexico. The driver initially made a negative declaration for any agriculture products however, during a secondary exam, the driver amended his declaration and told CBP agriculture specialists that he had multiple rolls of bologna under the rear seat of his vehicle. CBP agriculture specialist discovered and seized the contraband meat, and then destroyed the product. The driver was released.
"Travelers should understand that they can avoid civil penalties by declaring all agricultural items they are importing from Mexico. If the item they declare is prohibited it can be abandoned at the port without consequence," said CBP El Paso Port Director Beverly Good. “Had the driver not declared the product he would have faced an administrative penalty as high as $1,000.”
CBP has been entrusted with enforcing hundreds of laws for 40 other government agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These agencies require that unsafe items are not allowed to enter the United States. CBP officers are always at ports of entry and assume the responsibility of protecting America from all threats.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.