Nogales, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Port seized several boxes of liquid Dec. 7, believed to be homemade beauty products.
Officers initially referred a man for further agricultural inspection after initial questioning. Agriculture specialists found plastic containers of thick liquids with handwritten labels identifying them as liquid collagen and placenta. The owner told inspectors he was taking the items to a family member and did not know what they were made of. Agriculture specialists said the substances are likely of unknown animal or human origin. Substances such as these could pose a risk to animals in the U.S., as well as to humans.
Since the driver did not possess a USDA Veterinary Services permit to bring the items into the country, the items were seized according to law. Because he declared the items, he was not issued a civil penalty for the attempted importation.
CBP agricultural specialists have extensive training and experience in agricultural and biological inspection. Their historic mission of preventing the introduction of harmful plants and foreign animal diseases into the United States provides CBP with the expertise to recognize and prevent the entry of organisms that could be used for biological warfare or terrorism.
CBP's Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked primarily with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation's ports. CBP employees screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.
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.