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Feds Crack Down on Not-So-Hot Tamales at Airport

by Tracy Connor /  / Updated 
Image: Traveler with Hundreds of Illegal Tamales Caught at LAX
Traveler with hundreds of illegal tamales caught at LAX.

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The tamales weren't hot, but they were illegal.

Customs officials announced Wednesday that they seized 450 pork tamales smuggled from Mexico to Los Angeles in luggage earlier in the month.
Image: Traveler with Hundreds of Illegal Tamales Caught at LAX
Traveler with hundreds of illegal tamales caught at LAX.

The traveler, who was not named, admitted having food on a declaration form but denied it was pork products when questioned, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Inspectors then found hundreds of tamales wrapped in plastic bags.

"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," said Anne Maricich, acting director of field operations for Customs.

The traveler was hit with a $1,000 fine and the tamales were destroyed.

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