Border Patrol Makes Bologna Bust at NM Border Crossing
U.S. agents at the Santa Teresa, New Mexico border portal made a bologna bust, when they seized 385 pounds of Mexican pork bologna this week.
Agents found the meat of this story after the driver of a pickup truck denied he had any goods to declare, reports the Washington Post. The bologna, 35 rolls of it, had been packed behind the driver's seat of a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup.
Not drugs, not undocumented immigrant workers, not counterfeit DVDs. Bologna. No, really.
"This is a prohibited product because it is made from pork and has the potential for introducing foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry," U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Director Grace Gomez said, as reported by KOAT-TV.
"This seizure really stands out because when we seize bologna it is usually a small quantity or at most a roll or two," Gomez reportedly said.
Generally, Fourth Amendment limitations on searches do not apply at United States border crossings.
The U.S. Supreme Court stated the border search exception in U.S. v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531 (1985). There, the court ruled that routine searches of persons entering the U.S. are permissible without probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or a warrant. And international airports count as border terminals, even when not right on the border.
The U.S. Supreme Court probably did not contemplate bologna busts when it permitted routine searches at U.S. borders. But if there was a problem with the pork in that bologna, it's hard not to congratulate the Border Patrol in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
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- US Border Officials Corrupted by Mexican Cartels? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- The Fourth Amendment "Reasonableness" Requirement (FindLaw)