ABQ man caught smuggling clandestine meat across border

·1 min read

Jan. 28—The only thing missing was the bread.

An Albuquerque man was caught trying to smuggle a bunch of Mexican bologna — hidden beneath chip bags — into El Paso earlier this month.

Sandra Hawkins, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman, said the 40-year-old man was fined $1,000 for failure to declare commercial quantities of bologna for the Jan. 13 seizure.

She said the bologna was "destroyed using a USDA approved incinerator."

"Pork products have the potential to introduce foreign animal diseases that can have devastating effects to the U.S. economy and to our agriculture industry," Hector A. Mancha, Director of Field Operations, said in a release.

Hawkins said the man drove into the U.S. at the Paso Del Norte border crossing when he denied carrying any "fruits, vegetables, and meat products."

Upon a secondary inspection, she said five rolls of the illegal meats were found hidden under bags of chips, under the seats and in the trunk.

Hawkins said the bologna weighed 55 pounds and the man told authorities he resells the meat north of the border "for almost double the price he pays for them in Mexico."

A week later, she said agents found a Colorado woman hiding 188 pounds of bologna under the backseat, inside duvet cover liners and "comingled with luggage." The woman was also fined $1,000 for the seizure.

A CBP spokesperson previously said the meat can have a street value of $100 of more for a 10-pound roll in some areas.