Woman fined $500 for trying to take Delta snack apple through customs

Woman fined $500 for trying to take Delta snack apple through customs
© Greg Nash

A woman in Colorado says U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hit her with a $500 fine after finding an apple in her bag.

Fox 31 Denver reported that Crystal Tadlock held onto an apple she received from Delta Airlines during a trip back from Paris.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent later found the apple while searching her bag. Tadlock told the network that the agent would not allow her to eat or dispose of the apple, which was in a bag that featured Delta’s logo. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"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,' " Tadlock told the news outlet. 

Delta said in a statement provided to The Hill that the airline recommends “all passengers comply with U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules and regulations when entering the country.”

The customs declaration form travelers fill out upon entering the U.S. from abroad asks passengers if they are declaring items like fruit, meats or vegetables. 

A spokesperson for CBP said their policy is not to comment on inspections, but pointed out that it is a requirement to declare "all agricultural items." 

"Prohibited items that are not declared by a passenger are confiscated and disposed of by CBP," the spokesperson said.

"More importantly, civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to $1,000 per first-time offense for noncommercial quantities. If the items are determined to be for commercial use, violations will be assessed at a much higher rate." 

Tadlock told the Colorado news station that she is going to contest the fine in court.

"It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit," Tadlock told the KDVR.