People try to smuggle a lot of weird things into the U.S., from illicit drugs to exotic pets. When one hears that anything was seized coming across the border, of course we wonder just what contraband was stashed inside. Marijuana? Cocaine? Peyote? In a recent seizure of 450 tamales at Los Angeles International Airport, the substance in question was pork. Yes, just pork.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials announced that a passenger traveling from Mexico declared they were bringing food into the States, but replied no when asked if that food contained any pork meat products. An inspection of the passenger's bag produced 450 individually wrapped pork tamales. Yes, 450.
According to the CBP, foreign meat products can potentially carry diseases from countries affected by Avian Flu, Mad Cow disease, and Swine Fever. Part of Customs' job is to prevent the willful or unintentional introduction of these hazards into the United States. The passenger now faces a $1,000 fine and all of those delicious homemade tamales were destroyed, which is a shame because after thinking about all those tamales this long I could totally destroy one myself.