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CPB agriculture specialists issue $18K in fines at Laredo port

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Interceptions included live bees, birds and a turtle in addition to significant quantities of pork and prohibited fruits.

As the international bridges at Laredo Port of Entry teemed with returning paisano traffic recently, and in order to prevent the inadvertent proliferation of pests and diseases, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations agriculture specialists, flanked by Texas Game Wardens, stepped up examinations and intercepted significant quantities of prohibited plant, animal material and issued penalties.

"Our CBP agriculture specialists and agriculture canine teams this weekend faced a significant amount of traffic and increased risk of prohibited plants and animal material entering the U.S.," said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. "Their targeted examinations and close work with Texas Game Wardens as a force multiplier yielded significant quantities of prohibited items and helped to protect American agriculture from unestablished pests and diseases."

Over a four-day period ending on Sunday, Jan. 8, CBP agriculture specialists at Laredo Port of Entry international bridges made 540 interceptions of prohibited plant materials, 221 interceptions of prohibited animal materials and issued 57 penalties totaling $18,375 in fines.

Among the more notable interceptions were three live bee interceptions, two live bird seizures and interception of a live turtle in addition to significant quantities of pork and prohibited fruits. The live birds were turned over to USDA Veterinary Services and the turtle was turned over to U.S. and Fish and Wildlife Service.

Failing to declare prohibited food items will incur penalties to travelers. CBP would like to remind travelers to declare all agricultural items when making entry to CBP officers and agriculture specialists and to visit the following link for more information.

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