If you’re thinking about smuggling in some delicious pork tamales from Mexico to the States, you might want to reconsider.

The Los Angeles Times writes that a passenger flying from Mexico to the U.S. earlier this month was stopped by U.S. customs and border protection at LAX. When customs officials opened the luggage, they discovered “450 pork tamales wrapped in plastic bags in the passenger’s luggage.” As it turns out, those tamales were illegal, and the tamale-toting traveler was fined $1,000  for “commercial activity with the intent to distribute.”


Hold up—what makes a tamale illegal? The pork filling, which is on the list of products that travelers are prohibited to bring into the country under customs regulations. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in L.A., Anne Maricich, said in a release:

“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.” 

So the poor tamales were incinerated—not steamed—instead of being devoured. All we know is, if tamales are a crime, we don’t want to respect the law.


[via LA Times]

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