Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
Border officials recently seized hundreds of pounds of prohibited bologna from south of the border – including from a married couple and Santa Fe man – in their continued fight against forbidden meats.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said the smuggling attempts, which can bring foreign diseases to American soil, are no joke.
“People will sometimes make light of these seizures but there is nothing funny about these failed smuggling attempts,” Hector Mancha, director of field operations in El Paso, said in a news release.
Mancha said “the importation of unregulated pork products” can potentially bring foreign animal diseases, “which can be detrimental to our nation’s agriculture industry.”
CBP spokeswoman Sandra Hawkins said the first smuggling attempt happened Feb. 25.
She said a married couple from Texas were stopped in separate vehicles at the El Paso border crossing. Hawkins said agents found rolls of Mexican bologna hidden inside the 23-year-old husband’s vehicle before finding more of the bootlegged pork in his wife’s vehicle, totalling 110 pounds.
The husband told agents “his friend paid him to import the bologna.”
Then, on Feb. 28, agents stopped a 59-year-old Santa Fe man at the crossing in Santa Teresa.
Hawkins said a secondary inspection of the man’s vehicle showed “anomalies in the vehicle’s cargo area.” She said agents found 13 rolls of unlawful bologna, weighing 120 pounds, inside the vehicle.
The married couple and Santa Fe man were issued civil penalties “for failure to declare commercial quantities of bologna.” Agents destroyed the outlawed meat rolls in a giant incinerator.
“Undeclared prohibited agriculture items will be confiscated and can result in the issuance of a civil penalty for failure to declare,” Hawkins said.