Woman carries free apple from Delta-Airlines, slapped with $500 fine
In a bizarre incident, a trip back home from Paris got unnecessarily expensive for Colorado woman Crystal Tadlock. She was fined $500 for carrying an apple given to her by Delta Airlines. On arrival to US, Tadlock's bag was randomly chosen for checking by a Customs agent. He found the apple, with Delta logo on it, and fined her for carrying an undeclared fruit.
Narrating her ordeal, Tadlock said she asked if she could throw or eat the apple. The officer denied her the choice and slapping the fine said, "It's (Paris trip) about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500." A frustrated Tadlock said an honest mistake cost her money and her Global Entry Status. She plans to fight it in the courts.
While Tadlock cribbed about being treated like a criminal over a fruit, the website of US Customs and Border Protection clearly reads, "Every fruit or vegetable must be declared to a CBP Agriculture Specialist or CBP Officer and must be presented for inspection." A spokesperson for Delta Airlines also said they expect their passengers to adhere to US Customs laws.
"Civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural-products and may range up to 1,000 dollars per first-time offense for non-commercial quantities. If items are determined to be for commercial use, violations will be assessed at a much higher rate," read a statement.