320 pounds of contraband bologna found under car seats at Texas border, agents say

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Texas seized hundreds of pounds of contraband lunch meat that a motorist tried to smuggle across in a 2012 Honda Odyssey, the agency said Tuesday.

Hidden throughout the minivan was 320 pounds of bologna, and 30 pounds of turkey ham, according to CBP. Rolls of the illegal bologna were tucked beneath seats, stacked under blankets, jammed in the center console, and stuffed inside a duffel bag.

Due to the potential of animal diseases, pork products are banned from entering the U.S., CBP says.

The alleged meat smuggler, a 20-year-old American citizen who lives in El Paso, was caught around 6 a.m. Thursday, at the Paso Del Norte Border Crossing in El Paso. A border agent spied the red, white and green rolls of Capistrano brand bologna in the back seat, according to a CBP release, and directed the driver to a secondary inspection, wherein his cargo was fully revealed.

He told authorities that he planned on reselling the bologna.

CBP issued the man a fine of $1,000 and “seized and destroyed” the meat, a release said.

“With the recent detection of the African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic, it is important that no pork products are brought into the U.S.” CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said in a release. “Pork products have the potential to introduce foreign animal diseases that can be detrimental to our agriculture industry.”

When it comes to the bologna smuggling, Thursday’s 320-pound bust was pretty big.

Earlier this year, a man was stopped in New Mexico, transporting a load of 194 pounds in his trunk and luggage, McClatchy News previously reported. A few weeks later, New Mexico agents seized another 277 pounds of bologna hidden under the floor mats and seats of another vehicle.

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