450 Illegal — and Probably Delicious — Pork Tamales Seized, Destroyed at LAX

11/18/2015 at 03:29 PM ET

U.S. Customs and Border Protection/AP

If being delicious is a crime, consider all 450 of these perps guilty as charged.

Customs and Border Protection officials have revealed details of a Nov. 2 sting at Los Angeles International Airport in which a passenger was discovered to be smuggling an astonishing 450 individually-wrapped pork tamales.

The passenger, arriving from Mexico, did declare that they were bringing in food, but when asked if the food in question contained any pork products, the passenger said no, which obviously proved to be something of an understatement, or, to put it another way, a “lie.” An untruth. A fabrication. Subterfuge. Prevarication. You get the idea.

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“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.”

All good points — thanks, Anne — but you left out how delicious tamales are. The only Swine Fever we have is a hankering for more tamales. (We also may actually have Swine Fever — please send help.)

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The passenger was fined $1,000 for their crime, and more tragically, the illegal tamales were destroyed.

— Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl

FILED UNDER: Food , Food News

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Showing 8 comments

mic on

mexicans try to sell them in our local food shopping center. you dont know if they are good or not. i always decline. they dont have a licence, no food inspectors etc. no no no

Hot Tamale on

It’s the “Tamale Grinch” that ruined the “Thanksgiving Holiday!”
They ship produce and everything else from China to US. We have produce what ever else cross the border from Mexico to California.

Brye on

They should have fined them a lot more than that! They should have made them eat them right there! Happy Turkey Day you jerk!

Nancy on

Not every brown person you see is “Mexican”. You sound ignorant by saying that

Ina on

What is wrong with you tamale haters

MB on

Because having a license and food inspection done guarantees your food is 100% safe to eat.

tsk on

We’re afraid of swine flu infected tamales, but a year ago we’re flying ebola into the country.

enquiry on

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