|CBP score near-record seizure of contraband bologna. Photo: KOAT-TV|
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 385 pounds of Mexican bologna over the weekend just outside El Paso, according to the El Paso Times. This is the second-largest seizure of contraband lunch meat ever in the El Paso border, officials said Monday. The smuggler attempted to sneak the bologna across by hiding the rolls behind the seat of a pickup.
from the El Paso Times:
CBP officers found 35 large bologna rolls hidden behind the seat of a pickup Friday at the Santa Teresa border crossing. The driver, who is from Juárez, was fined $1,000 and released.
CBP officials said bringing bologna across the border is prohibited because it is made from pork and has the potential to introduce foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry.
Officials have said Mexican bologna, which has a different taste than U.S. bologna, can sell for as much as 10 times its retail price in Mexican-American communities up north.
Historically, the largest El Paso bologna case, weighing in at 756 pounds, was seized in 2003.
CBP officers working El Paso area ports of entry also made 15 marijuana seizures and one cocaine seizure from Thursday, May 12 to Sunday, May 15. They captured an approximate weight of 1,359.58 pounds of marijuana and 7.45 pounds of cocaine in the busts.
A dog tipped agents to the largest marijuana seizure leading them to discover 214 tape wrapped bundles in the gas tank, rear seats, and non-factory compartments in the floor and roof of a 2002 Chrysler Cirrus driven by a 23-year-old female from Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico.
The bologna seizure was quite remarkable, however.
Santa Teresa Port Director Grace Gomez told KOAT-TV: "This seizure really stands out because when we seize bologna it is usually a small quantity or at most a roll or two."I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.