A Colorado woman made an honest mistake with a benign item she carried off a plan with her. Unfortunately, then she met a U.S. Customs agent intent on abusing his power.
Crystal Tadlock was given an apple in plastic bag as a snack as her flight from Paris reached its end. However, Tadlock, who was not hungry at the moment, decided to keep the fruit inside her carry-on and save it for later if she felt hungry during the second part of her trip.
However, as went through U.S Customs, her bag was randomly selected for a search and the agent found the fruit inside. When she was asked about the apple, she said she got it from Delta airline. However, when she was told she could not take it through Customs, she asked if she could eat it or throw it away.
But, the Customs agent refused to let her do that.
“He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t really get why he was asking that question, and then he said, 'It’s about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500,’” said Tadlock to FKDVR.
The Colorado woman said she was angry with the incident and said Delta should not have passed the apples to passengers at the end of the flight or should have at least told them not to take them off the plane. She also said Customs officers should have relaxed their stance a bit after seeing the fruit was in the Delta-branded bag.
“I understand the laws and the Department of Agriculture doesn’t want certain insects in the U.S.,” Tadlock said. “But once again, the apple is from Delta and I think that’s the most important part of the story.”
In fact, Tadlock thinks her honest mistake could result in much bigger costs for her: She could also lose her Global Entry Status.
U.S. Customs said in a statement that “all agriculture items must be declared” and the maximum fine is $1,000. They also said they did not discuss details of specific inspections.
Tadlock was given a choice of paying the fine or fighting the case in court. She told the TV station she intends to take the matter before a judge.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Pexels