U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists encountered a different kind of contraband recently at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge; 201 pounds of pork were discovered concealed in the engine compartment of a vehicle.
"Preventing the entry of harmful agricultural products is an integral aspect of America's front line," says Randy Howe, director of Field Operations, Laredo Field Office.
The seizure occurred on Wednesday, July 29 when a CBP officer assigned to the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge referred a 1980 Ford F-150 pickup truck for secondary inspection. The vehicle was driven by a 30-year-old male U.S. citizen traveling from Mexico. The vehicle was sent in for a non-intrusive inspection when the driver was unable to open the hood. Following an agriculture canine and non-intrusive imaging system examination, CBP officers and agriculture specialists discovered a total of 201 pounds of undeclared and prohibited pork products concealed in the engine compartment.
CBP agriculture specialists issued a $1,000 civil penalty for the undeclared commercial quantity of the prohibited product. At this time, Mexico is considered free of classical swine fever but pork importations need to meet special requirements. Attempting to bring in prohibited agricultural items could lead to traveler delays and may result in a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000.
CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to fulfill CBP's agriculture mission by excluding harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the United States.