EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A California man had to give up his mangos after border officers found maggots in the fruit.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release, the man declared several fresh mangos when he tried to enter the U.S. from Mexico on June 26 at the Paso Del Norte bridge in Downtown El Paso.
Mangos are already prohibited from being imported because they’re a known host for pests. But because the man declared the fruit, he was allowed to proceed without penalty.
Agriculture specialists said they inspected the mangoes and 12 live fruit fly larvae inside.
In a statement, CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said the man was traveling to California and could have introduced fruit flies to the state had the CBP agriculture specialist not located the harmful pests.
“The impact on California’s agriculture industry could have been devasting,” Mancha said.
In a separate incident two days later, a CBP canine named Keela led officers to 3.5 pounds of fresh sliced mangos at the Bridge of the Americas in South-Central El Paso. The driver, who did not declare the fruit, had stored the fruit in a cooler. The mangos were seized and inspected for pests, and destroyed. The driver, who was also from California, was fined $175.
CBP encourages border crossers to declare all agriculture items to CBP upon entry to avoid penalties and protect the U.S. agriculture industry.