POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 9:01am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:26pm
El Paso - - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at El Paso area ports of entry have found live weevil larvae in wild field potatoes and several living fruit fly larvae in a sweet lime.
“The seizures are significant because these hitchhiking pests have the potential to spread to the domestic agricultural industry and cause substantial damage,” said Ana Hinojosa, CBP Director of Field Operation in El Paso.
The weevil larvae discovery was made at the Santa Teresa port of entry January 23 from a New Mexico resident returning from Mexico. The man was assessed a $500 penalty as a repeat offender for undeclared and prohibited produce. He was previously assessed a $300 penalty for a first offense.
The fruit fly larva seizure was made a day earlier at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing in El Paso. CBP officers were performing an inspection of a passenger bus during which a female passenger declared one sweet lime, which was abandoned at the port of entry. The prohibited piece of fruit was examined during which three live fruit fly larvae were found in the fruit. The passenger was not assessed a penalty because the item was declared and was abandoned at the port.