Officials at Los Angeles International Airport busted a passenger for attempting to bring in 450 illegal pork tamales in his luggage, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
On November 2nd, the unnamed man arrived from Mexico with the tamales in his luggage. The passenger did declare that he was bringing food into the country on the customs forms, but when officials asked if the food contained any pork meat products, the dude lied lied and told them no.
His bag was then inspected and agriculture specialists discovered 450 illegal pork tamales individually wrapped in plastic bags. The tamales also appeared to be individually numbered.
“Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by outbreaks of Avian Influenza, Mad Cow and Swine Fever,” Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in L.A, told KABC. “Every day CBP agriculture specialists prevent the intentional and unintentional introduction of harmful pests and foreign animal diseases into the U.S.”
The passenger was fined $1,000 for commercial activity with the intent to distribute and (sadly) the illegal tamales were destroyed, customs officials said.