ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The bologna smugglers tried again.
Border agents working the Santa Teresa port of entry confiscated 30 rolls of Mexican bologna this week, because it is a prohibited product with the potential for introducing foreign animal diseases into the U.S. pork industry
The seizure was made about 9:45 p.m. Thursday when a 2006 Toyota Highlander with Texas plates entered the port from Mexico, with the driver declaring he had no agriculture products.
A Customs and Border Protection officer, who selected the vehicle for a secondary exam, discovered multiple rolls of bologna concealed under toys and personal belongings in the cargo area.
The meat was seized and destroyed, and the driver picked up an administrative fine of $1,000, officials said in a news release.
“Travelers … 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 Santa Teresa Acting Port Director Jesse Proctor in a statement.
“CBP agriculture specialists are highly trained and have the knowledge to recognize the presence of pests or disease on agricultural commodities, as well as to identify prohibited products,” he said.
Mexican bologna must be tasty or at least have a good resale value, because it is a fairly common form of contraband at the border.
In June last year, U.S. border agents seized 14 rolls of the encased meat hidden under the back sat of Chevy Silverado trying to cross at the El Paso port of entry.
In 2011, the Journal reported the second largest attempted haul yet — 385 pounds of Mexican bologna, grabbed at the Santa Teresa border crossing with what one border official said was “a street value over $8,000.”
The largest seizure was 756 pounds at the El Paso port in 2003.
Officials back then said Mexican bologna, which has a different taste from its U.S. counterpart, can sell for as much as 10 times its retail price in Mexican-American communities north of the border.