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CBP Agriculture Specialists Seize Prohibited Plant, Animal Materials, Issue $18K in Penalties at Laredo Port of Entry During Paisano Return Weekend

LAREDO, Texas—As the international bridges at Laredo Port of Entry teemed with returning paisano traffic this weekend, and in order to prevent the inadvertent proliferation of pests and diseases, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists, flanked by Texas Game Wardens, stepped up examinations and intercepted significant quantities of prohibited plant, animal material and issued penalties.

“Our CBP agriculture specialists and agriculture canine teams this weekend faced a significant amount of traffic and increased risk of prohibited plants and animal material entering the U.S.,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “Their targeted examinations and close work with Texas Game Wardens as a force multiplier yielded significant quantities of prohibited items and helped to protect American agriculture from unestablished pests and diseases.”

An examination table full of prohibited fruits and vegetables intercepted by CBP agriculture specialists during the busy paisano return weekend.

Over a four-day period ending on Sunday, Jan. 8, CBP agriculture specialists at Laredo Port of Entry international bridges made 540 interceptions of prohibited plant materials, 221 interceptions of prohibited animal materials, and issued 57 penalties totaling $18,375 in fines.

Among the more notable interceptions were three live bee interceptions, two live bird seizures and interception of a live turtle in addition to significant quantities of pork and prohibited fruits. The live birds were turned over to U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services and the turtle was turned over to U.S. and Fish and Wildlife Service.

Failing to declare prohibited food items will incur penalties to travelers. CBP would like to remind travelers to declare all agricultural items when making entry to CBP officers and agriculture specialists and to visit the following link for more information.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Laredo Field Office on Twitter at @DFOLaredo and also U.S. Customs and Border Protection at @CBPSouthTexas for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.