Smuggled bologna at the border is two things I’d never thought I’d read in the same sentence. Who’s doing it? Why are they doing it? Who wants imported suspect deli meat? Apparently, someone, somewhere, as the North Carolina newspaper The News & Observer report that over 200 pounds of the stuff were found in cars at the Texas border.
There were two incidents that occurred in late February, both in El Paso, Texas, that netted over 200 pounds of the meat. The first incident involved a couple trying to be slick by splitting the illegal meat between two different vehicles. Per The Observer:
The husband, a 23-year-old, was referred to an inspection, which revealed rolls of prohibited bologna inside the vehicle, the release said. He told officials a friend paid him to smuggle the bologna. Soon after, CBP officials discovered more bologna hidden inside the vehicle his wife was driving. A total of 110 pounds of the pork were confiscated from the couple, officials said.
The second incident on Feb. 28 was the biggest find. A man from New Mexico gave himself away after claiming he didn’t have any meat products to declare. That’s when border agents decided to search:
During a second inspection, officials found “anomalies” in the back of the vehicle, the CBP release said. A search uncovered 13 rolls, or 120 pounds, of prohibited bologna.
Apparently, there’s a market for this stuff. Rolls of bologna can go for as little as $10 in Mexico, so it’s lucrative for these people to try to flip the stuff here in the States. But ultimately it’s not worth it. Besides, it’s gross anyway. Customs and Border Protection stated that smuggling the meat into the U.S. is dangerous because it can “introduce diseases from animals, which can harm the farm industry in the United States.”
Everyone that was caught smuggling received no jail time. But they all will face civil penalties due to not declaring the mean products at the border.