Man Busted Attempting To Smuggle 350 Pounds of Meat Over Texas Border

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. authorities caught a man with 350 pounds of meat last week in an attempt to smuggle the food over the Texas border.

Needless to say, it was a bunch of baloney. 

And some additional turkey ham.

On Aug. 26, officials caught a 20-year-old El Paso resident with 320 pounds of pork bologna and 30 pounds of turkey ham in the backseat of a 2012 Honda Odyssey.

The man did not attempt to refrigerate the meat product, thinking he’d be able to make a quick trip. The bundled meat was in 31 rolls of bologna and two roles of ham under blankets, seats, under the center console, and inside a duffle bag.  

Authorities did not say the street resale value of the meat.

Customs and Border Patrol destroyed the meat and gave the man a $1,000 fine. Laws prohibit individuals from bringing meat into the United States, officials said. 

However, meat imports from companies are allowed. According to Beef2Live, the United States has imported 1.56 billion pounds of beef so far in 2021, down 3.7% from 2020. 

Meat, Meat Was Not A Treat

The early morning trip turned into a disaster for the man. First, he had a good plan by trying to go in the early morning. Traffic at that Paso Del Norte customs port of entry is low at that time of day.

A CBP press release said that a border agent could see the poorly hidden food despite the man’s initial negative declaration for carrying food. 

“With the recent detection of the African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic, it is important that no pork products are brought into the U.S.” CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said.

Mancha said that pork products could bring in foreign animal diseases that can hurt the American agricultural industry.

Pork products have the potential to introduce foreign animal diseases that can be detrimental to our agriculture industry.”

Meat Smuggling Is Big Business

According to the McClatchy News Service, the man’s attempt was noble and significant.

McClatchy News said agents busted a man in New Mexico with 194 pounds of meat in his trunk and luggage in February. The 49-year-old man used a Nissan Rogue in the act. 

Weeks later, agents took in 277 pounds of bologna hidden under floor mats and seats of another car. 

According to Business Insider, there have been several smuggling attempts. On Jan. 7, a Chinese man flying into the United States had 20 pounds of undeclared pork. Somehow, he also had 30 containers of edible bird’s nests.

The next day, a Kosovoan man flew with 88 pounds of swine meat. He thought Newark, N.J. was the place to sneak it in. The man tried to pass the meat off as “homemade sausages.”

Last year, Chinese smugglers tried to bring almost 20,000 pounds of illegal meat into the country, mixed with electronics and home goods.