Border Control Officers Seize 154 Pounds of Black Market Bologna in Texas
That's... well, a bunch of bologna.
If you've ever wondered how much bologna you could comfortably fit into the cab of a Chevrolet pickup, it's at least 154 pounds. That's the word from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, who stopped a man at the U.S.-Mexico border and discovered that he was transporting a significant amount of pork sausage.
According to a CBP press release, the department's Agriculture Specialists were working at the border in El Paso, Texas, when they inspected a Chevy truck with Texas plates on its way back into the United States. One of the officers saw "red rolls" stacked behind the rear seat of the vehicle, and a more thorough investigation revealed that those rolls were actually giant bologna logs. (The man's explanation was also full of bologna, because he told the officers that he was just driving through with some "turkey ham.")
The CBP removed 14 rolls of Mexican bologna from the man's truck, a 154-pound haul. The meat was seized and ultimately destroyed, and the driver was released. The agency explains that pork produced outside our borders cannot be brought into the United States, because of its potential to introduce "foreign animal diseases" into the pork industry.
"It is important that travelers understand they should declare all items they are transporting from abroad to avoid fines and penalties," Beverly Good, the CBP El Paso Port Director, said. "A properly declared prohibited item can be abandoned at the port without consequence."
The CBP says that part of its mission is to enforce laws for 40 other government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (They're also the reason why you had to trash all of that incredible Spanish jamon when you flew back from Barcelona last summer.)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the agency has made a ridiculous number of equally ridiculous discoveries. They have previously intercepted a package that was being shipped from Italy to Philadelphia and, although it was marked "shoes and honey," the boxes actually contained seven pounds of live snails. They've stopped a shipment of coconuts that had been filled with 1,432 pounds of marijuana. And they took 450 (!) individually wrapped pork tamales from a passenger who'd flown from Mexico to Los Angeles.
So if you do decide to fill your pickup truck with lunchmeat, just make sure it's all U.S.-made and you don't cross any international borders. We'd hate to see another 150 pounds of bologna get destroyed.