Dang it!! There goes my chance of selling my iguana tamales to Williams-Sonoma. This delicacy could have brought in way more than the $55 a dozen they usually get after the lady across the streets sells them to me at $5 a dozen.
I am kidding, of course. I have no idea what the contraband of iguana meat mixed with masa is good for – it just sounded, tamalish.
Check out the press release from Customs & Border Protection:
CBP Agriculture Specialists Seize Nearly 58 Pounds of Iguana Meat
Mixed with Masa at Laredo Port of Entry
LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Laredo Port of Entry this weekend discovered ingredients for some rather exotic tamales; nearly 58 pounds of undeclared iguana meat hidden in masa (corn dough).
The seizure occurred on Feb. 27, 2011 as CBP agriculture specialists at Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge examined luggage from northbound bus passengers. A CBP agriculture specialist noted anomalies in two ice chests belonging to a 49-year-old female Mexican citizen passenger from Altamirano, Guerrero, Mexico. Upon further examination of the ice chests, CBP agriculture specialists discovered nearly 58 pounds of alleged iguana meat that was not declared and had been mixed together with masa (corn dough). The iguana meat has an estimated domestic value of $1,560. CBP agriculture specialists seized the meat for alleged violations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Lacey Act. CITES requires an export permit from a member country (in this case, Mexico) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires an import permit as well.
CBP officers processed the bus passenger for return to Mexico and the case was turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents for further investigation.
“This is a substantial amount of iguana meat, well beyond what would be considered as personal use, it lacked the necessary permits for lawful importation and further it was found hidden in masa,” said Joe Uribe, Acting CBP Port Director, Laredo. “This seizure illustrates the hard work of our CBP agriculture specialists and the diversity of laws that CBP enforces on behalf of other federal agencies.”