Contraband bologna? 243 pounds of it found hidden in cars at Texas border, agents say

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
·2 min read

Hundreds of pounds of contraband pork bologna were seized at the Texas border as U.S. citizens tried smuggling the lunch meat in two recent incidents, officials say.

Bologna from Mexico is prohibited from entering because of pork’s potential to bring foreign animal diseases into the country, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Officials say those diseases “can have devastating effects to the U.S. economy and to our agriculture industry.”

In the first case, a 40-year-old resident of Albuquerque tried entering the U.S. at the Paso Del Norte crossing in El Paso on Jan. 13, according to a CBP news release. He did not declare having any meat products.

During an inspection of his car, agriculture specialists with the agency say they found 55 pounds of bologna hidden under a bag of chips, under the seats and in the trunk compartment of the SUV.

“The driver informed CBP Agriculture Specialists that he resells the bologna in the U.S. for almost double the price he pays for them in Mexico,” according to the news release.

In the second incident, on Jan. 21, a 40-year-old resident of Pueblo West, Colorado, tried entering the Ysleta border crossing in El Paso, officials say. She also did not declare any meat products.

But when her vehicle was inspected, officials say they found 19 rolls of bologna totaling 188 pounds under the back seat, inside the duvet cover liners and hidden with some luggage.

Both people were cited a $1,000 civil penalty after failing to declare the “commercial quantities of bologna.”

This isn’t the first time someone tried illegally bringing bologna into the U.S.

In September, McClatchy News reported that a motorist tried bringing 320 pounds of bologna and 30 pounds of turkey ham across the Texas border.

And in February, 277 pounds of contraband bologna were found in the floorboards of a car crossing the New Mexico border. Also that month and in New Mexico, McClatchy News reported that 194 pounds of bologna were seized from a different vehicle.

CBP requires travelers to declare anything they acquired abroad when entering the U.S. “so we can prevent the introduction of potentially harmful products.”

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