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Feds won't let man get away with b-o-l-o-g-n-a

Mexican national released after giving up goods voluntarily

United States
Department of Homeland Security

(CNN) -- Federal agents found and destroyed 845 pounds of bologna and 100 pounds of cheese someone smuggled into the United States from Mexico, the Department of Homeland Security said Monday.

The man had the illicit sandwich fixings hidden under clothes in 14 suitcases when he was caught April 4, said Sue Challis, spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Challis said she did not know whether the man brought in bread as well. The items were destroyed, she said.

The smoked meat was in 80 large rolls that the man hoped to sell at a local swap meet, according to a press release from the CBP agency, which is part of the Homeland Security Department.

Border Patrol agents conducting a routine baggage inspection found the items when the bus the man was riding reached a checkpoint north of Las Cruces, New Mexico, on its way to Albuquerque, the agency said.

Challis said the man is Mexican and had the appropriate papers to enter the United States. He gave up the products voluntarily and was sent on his way.

The agency said the man stood to make a hefty profit. "The processed bologna rolls, which cost about $7 or $8 in Mexico, can bring three or four times that price in the United States," it said.

"USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] has approved a few Mexican processing plants to export bologna to the United States; however, this particular product contained no indication of its origin."

The CBP agency also suggested the seizure could have averted potential medical problems.

"In addition to the danger pork-based bologna could pose from animal diseases such as classical swine fever, CBP agriculture specialists say this product is usually transported without refrigeration, which carries still other health risks," the agency statement said.

CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner called the discovery a sign of successful efforts to "coordinate inspection and enforcement on everything from illegal drugs and illegal aliens to prohibited agricultural products," according to the statement.

CNN's Jim Spellman contributed to this report.

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