Customs agents

Feds Fine a Woman $500 for Saving a Free Airline Snack

The apple was wrapped in a plastic bag with Delta's logo on it. Customs still fined her $500.

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Danielfela | Dreamstime.com

The government fined a Colorado woman $500 this week for passing through customs with a free apple she received from Delta Airlines.

Flight attendants had handed out apples toward the end of Crystal Tadlock's flight from Paris to the U.S., she tells FoxNews31. Not feeling hungry yet, she put the individually wrapped apple in her carry-on and planned to eat it later.

When her bag was randomly searched at customs, the officer discovered the apple, which was sealed in a Delta-branded bag. Tadlock explained that she was given the apple on her flight and asked if she could eat it or throw it out. According to Tadlock, the agent said no and fined her $500.

"He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, 'Yeah,'" Tadlock recalls to FoxNews31. "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, who plans to fight the fine in court, may also lose her Global Entry Status, which allows preapproved low-risk travellers to enter the U.S. with faster clearance.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's website, "Every fruit or vegetable must be declared…and must be presented for inspection—regardless of its admissibility status." Failure to declare a food item can bring a fine of up to $10,000, so it could have been worse.

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  1. “He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, ‘Yeah,'” Tadlock recalls to FoxNews31. “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.'”

    I just know, that guy was really, really proud of his quip. He probably fucked his wife extra hard that night.

    1. Correction: Turns out his wife is a home-made plush of Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. The rest of the statement is still true.

      1. He ordered the voice chip on the internet, but they sent him the one for the talking Urkel doll by mistake. He has not returned it.

        1. After he comes in it, it says “oops, did I do that?”

          1. Okay, that is pretty hot.

            1. See, this thread right here pretty much encapsulates why I spend time on H&R. I’ve yet to find anywhere else on the internet that offers this level of debauchery in the comments section.

              1. We are the Nick Gillespies of Rule 34.

                1. We are the Nick Gillespies of Rule 34.

                  Half as hip as we think we are and able to turn anything into a sex joke.

              2. You said it, man. I’m’a pour one out for SugarFree real quick.

              3. You obviously haven’t seen ZeroHedge.

              4. “See, this thread right here pretty much encapsulates why I spend time on H&R.”

                The folks here are certainly special.

      2. Correction: Turns out his wife is a home-made plush of Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony.

        Nah, he probably just furiously masturbates while staring at it. Like this.

    2. It really is the most outrageous part of the story.

      1. This. Bullshit bureaucracy charging bullshit fines because they can is nothing new. It’s background noise in a society as complex as ours. It’s the throwing away of correct uses of discretion in favor of casual cruelty that one sees so much of in border/DHS/cops that is unacceptable. Be a garbage human being on your own time. If I’m a private employer, that person represents me so they are out on their ass for rudeness. But, gov’t law enforcement so par for the course.

    3. Well, at least he didn’t say, “How do you like them apples?”

    4. being such a turd its more likely he does not have one. which may explain why he has to be such a sick jerk to strangers in public.

  2. It’s hard to get worked up over this. I mean, yeah, borders, rights etc., but where the apple came from doesn’t really concern customs. The rule is pretty simple, don’t carry fresh fruit over any international border.

    Having said that, I watched a reality tv show with Australian customs that was pretty enraging. They framed the show as an intense race against international ne’r-do-wells, human traffickers, drug smugglers and terrorists (complete with ominous music and tension-increasing editing), and the whole show was pretty much customs officers busting Chinese Nationals for carrying snacks in their suitcases (as Chinese Nationals are wont to do), and false positives on drug testing shampoo bottles.

    1. I see the ‘spring intern’ got the ‘human interest beat’ at Reason. Welcome, Kayla. I advise you don’t wade into the comments too often.

      1. On your own head be it.

    2. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for some compassion and common sense. Make her toss the apple in the trash and move on.

      1. I don’t disagree, I’m just sayin’ that I’ve personally received the warning from US customs when driving between US and Canada.

      2. That and don’t be a piece of shit about it like this moron.

        People will learn a lesson but what sticks in their mind is the behaviour and attitude to which it was levied.

        And that’s where cynicism sets in. You don’t want that.

        Like my story below, that guy is a meme in our lives now. Enforce the law sure, don’t demean CITIZENS.

        1. That and don’t be a piece of shit about it like this moron.

          ^This^

          Dude was a grade A prick. The kind of person that can only survive in a government job.

        2. I would bet the guy was a piece of shit in high school that couldn’t want to get a job with a badge to not only keeping treating people like shit, but to prevent people from fighting back. Like some did in high school.

          Someone once told me cops are the second toughest guy in their neighborhood.

          1. Not as high as second. They’re usually the ones who got beat up in school, given atomic wedgies and swirlies. That fat punk in the photo kiosk in Police Academy? That type.

      3. The law is the law. And it’s written down so you don’t have to think too hard about it.

        1. Just like the First and Second Amendments.

      4. Yeah.

        It was obvious she wasn’t Trying To Smuggle Apples.

        Just confiscate it and move on.

      5. how’s about letting her eat the silly thing right there. If he had gone off on me like that I’d have taen a bit out of it right ther,e and kept chomping till it was all gone.. if I had to eat the seeds to I would

        1. And you would have been the guy getting the $10,000 fine, because FYTW.

    3. It’s hard for Paul to get worked up over a pointlessly punitive $500 fine since he wipes his ass with handfuls of diamonds. The woman should comply with every rule without question, just like she was willing to do before they fined her anyway.

      1. Hugh seems to think that griping on a comment board and loudly signalling his compassion for the plight of the hoi polloi will reverse the zillion pound hammer of The State.

        1. Paul likes to distinguish himself from the empty empathy of the virtue signalers by loudly and repeatedly declaring how many fucks he does not give.

          1. It’s always helpful when Hugh “Jacob Riis” Akston takes time out of his busy schedule, snapping pictures of oppressed international travelers to wag his finger at those who show insufficient compassion for their plight.

            It’s also fun to read his comments in reply to a person, but are never worded as a message to the person, but the rest of the group.

          2. The sexual tension between Hugh and Paul is thicker than John’s ideal date in Lululemon tights.

            1. I ship this now, and forever.

              1. Hugh Diane Reynolds (Paul.) Akston ?

                Or simply Pugh? Or Haul?

                1. Hugh Paul: A Song of Bike Lanes and Enunciation

                  These two crazy kids. It’s magical.

                  1. They really do give you hope for the world.

              2. You ship Asses and Tights?

      2. It does kind of make you think why Delta would hand out apples just before passengers disembarked for Canada. At least announce “Remember not to take these apples into Canada”

        1. Actually, they do – – – –

          1. Why do you often end your comments with four dashes?

    4. She didn’t carry the fresh fruit over international borders, Delta did.

      1. This is true, and I’ve always wondered why Canadian customs seems so curious about the purpose of my business trip in the airport as opposed to while I’m watching the in-flight movie.

      2. Delta didn’t take it past Customs into the foreign country without declaring it.

        She was in no trouble at all until she took the apple out of the international zone of the airport without declaring it.

        Delta, of course, was in absolutely none at all, since it did not take the apple out of the international zone and thus subject it to customs enforcement.

    5. The the airlines should’ve warned people if they do not eat it on the plane, do not carry it off the plane!

  3. thugs gotita thug

  4. thugs gotta thug

  5. It’s about to get a lot more expensive…

    [dons sunglasses]

    …after I charge you $500.

  6. “He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, ‘Yeah,'” Tadlock recalls to FoxNews31. “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.'”

    What a dickhead. You have to fine someone because of some idiotic law, that’s one thing, but to be such an obnoxious little shit weasel about it? Fuck that guy. Fuck him in his stupid ass with a rusty chainsaw.

    1. They’re basically paid in schadenfreude.

  7. Yeh. I went through this at the Vermont border last years. After 30 years of decently pleasant crossings I got some rude punk with mirrored glasses millennial who was asking questions faster than I can (honestly) answer them. He went from do you have arms to what food do you declare so fast I didn’t answer the food one. Then he got all smart-alec. What’s in the cooler and I told him a ham sandwich and that’s where (I’m convinced was his game) he ‘got me’. I asked you if you have food and you said nothing.

    Know what? I held my ground. I told him it was the pace of how your asking the questions that led to this miscommunication. I know they have a job to do but that was over the top. Then he pulled the same crap this agent did. $1500 fine. Cash or credit and kept repeating it. We didn’t budge because we were stunned by it. Finally he relented, made his little tough talk and we went through.

    “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.'”

    Asshole.

    1. that is: “the pace of how you were asking the questions”

    2. I wonder if they’re trained to be such obnoxious pieces of shit or if it comes naturally?

      some rude punk with mirrored glasses millennial

      I’m assuming he looked something like this.

      1. YES!

      2. I guess part of it is character. For the most part, NY/VT crossings have been pretty painless over the years.

        Maybe you hit a batch of clowns from time to time? I know Canadians can be just a bitchy. I had one tell me they didn’t understand why we went shopping for food in the USA. Aside from ‘mind your beeswax’, because there are items, you know, we don’t have here that we like?

      3. They assume if they don’t talk tough they won’t be respected but the opposite is true. Act like an ass and you’ll be though of as an ass

      4. I wonder if they’re trained to be such obnoxious pieces of shit or if it comes naturally?

        I believe they are indeed trained to intentionally confuse people to trip them up, so as to create a ‘gotcha’ moment that gives them an excuse to ruin someone’s day.

  8. Flight attendants had handed out apples toward the end of Crystal Tadlock’s flight from Paris to the U.S.

    “And that’s why we need a wall!”

    1. Sounds to me like you got a case against Delta for handing out apples without a warning that an apple a day might keep the doctor away but it ain’t gonna help you ward off a customs inspector. I find it hard to believe that this is the first time an airline snack has gotten somebody into trouble this way, Delta should know.

      Note, this suggestion that Delta should be sued has nothing to do with my own personal animosity toward Delta and the belief that the people who run Delta should be shoved in a soft-sided suitcase and turned over to the Delta baggage handlers for a few hours.

      1. Yeah, the airlines and the govt are snuggled up so closely together the passengers are probably going to assume what’s OK with the airlines is OK with the govt.

      2. I find it hard to believe that this is the first time an airline snack has gotten somebody into trouble this way
        It almost certainly is not. In this case, the lady had the presence of mind to contact the media. It’s an excellent use of the press to bring to attention when the state acts like a shitty little bully. They rely on people meekly paying the fine and shuffling off to continue being shitty little bullies.

  9. Maybe the airport pig was offended by the sight of fruit.

    1. That’s just the price you pay for civilization. You’re pro-civilization, aren’t you?

      1. He keeps using that word. I don’t think it means what he think it means.

      2. Or anti-anarchy, if you like. Figuring out what rules are good and what rules are stupid is what politics is all about.

        1. Yes, because the only way that systems of rules can ever exist is if the biggest asshole in a particular neighborhood has the ability to kill anyone else for noncompliance.

          1. No, that’s what it’d be like if you did away with all the trappings of modern democratic civilization like you want.

            1. You believe in “changing systems instead of changing hearts” and yet still consider yourself a champion of democracy, huh.

              1. At this point I just want the human species to survive the next century.

                1. That is certainly a silly-ass nonresponse.

            2. It’d be cool if the biggest argument against anarchy wasn’t, “All those things that happen under government anyway, might happen anyway.”

              I’m just saying it lacks a certain ring in debate. There must be a better argument.

              1. That’s not the argument. It’s that all the worst things governments do would happen, since we would be starting from scratch on the civilization thing.

                Of course many of you have assured me that it wouldn’t be an anarchic hellscape at all because without the jackboot of government everyone’s heart gets so full of pride and freedom that nobody is a bad neighbor.

                And if someone is a bad neighbor, well then the jackboot of government is there to help you out, of course! Logic.

                1. Yeah, sorry for responding twice at the same comment, but this might be where our communication isn’t syncing.

                  Of course many of you have assured me that it wouldn’t be an anarchic hellscape at all…

                  That’s what I’m saying, man. Not that we won’t have an anarchic hellscape. I think we have that now.

                2. For fuck’s sake, Tony. How many times do we have to explain to you that free market anarchy does not mean there are no laws. Rather, it means that law enforcement, arbitration, and adjudication are services paid for with user/subscription fees and competition is legal. You could at least read some of the literature on the subject. Start with something simple, like Machinery of Freedom.

                  1. For fuck’s sake, Tony. How many times do we have to explain to you…

                    You can lead an idiot to knowledge, but you can’t make him learn.

              2. It’d be cool if the biggest argument against anarchy wasn’t, “All those things that happen under government anyway, might happen anyway.”

                I’m just saying it lacks a certain ring in debate. There must be a better argument.

                Take away government and some gang of assholes will get together to have the last word in violence, and use that power to steal. It’s inevitable.

                1. …some gang of assholes will get together to have the last word in violence, and use that power to steal.

                  Government. It’d be quicker just to say “government”.

                  If you know what I mean, and I think you do.

                  1. Is this not an argument for one government with sharply delineated responsibilities? Competing “governments” will almost certainly led to petty tribalism and warfare. How can two authorities arbitrate an agreement on behalf of their clients/citizens when each claims a right to statehood?

                    1. Huh. Huh. You just sparked a thought. Right here, look…

                      Competing “governments” will almost certainly led to petty tribalism and warfare.

                      Do we believe in markets, or do we not? We need to stipulate that fundamental first.

                      If we do, then free markets fix misallocation of resources. It’s their nature. How do we get the governments to compete on the market?

                      Hrrrm. Provocative. Thanks.

                    2. How do we get the governments to compete on the market?

                      I don’t know. I also can’t tell if you’re being deliberately sarcastic or not. Private actors under the umbrella of government, when they disagree, take their disagreement to government because government is the monopolist of violence: it has the authority to resolve a dispute and enforce it’s ruling with the threat of violence.

                      It’s perhaps not ideal from a liberty standpoint, but it is superior to say, a binary system: two authorities with a claim of jurisdiction in the dispute and who claim a monopoly on violence, who, when they come to a disagreement, and cannot resolve that disagreement, have no choice but to use violence against one another.

                      You can continue to divide things like this until you have thousands of authorities occupying a landmass, each claiming unto itself both jurisdiction and a monopoly on violence, and see how long it takes before they start fighting each other over every petty dispute. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons we have a federal government is to prevent the states from doing this.

                    3. I don’t know. I also can’t tell if you’re being deliberately sarcastic or not.

                      I don’t know either. It’s a genuine thinking-thoughts question, asked in good faith due to my interest in a sound answer.

                      …and see how long it takes before they start fighting each other over every petty dispute.

                      No, my bad, I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t curious how to get them to fight with each other – haha, they do that quite naturally, right? – but rather, how do we get governments to compete on the market for their place.

                      How do we get the market to apply?

                    4. (1/2)
                      I don’t see how you can. Perhaps if you accept the idea that markets exist before governments – that is, outside governments – then you can find some method whereby governments are bent to the will of markets. But who solves market disputes if governments are contained inside the market?

                      It seems to me, if you want to ensure a PEACEFUL exchange of goods and services, you need an arbiter. That arbiter is typically government, for the reason I outlined above: monopoly on violence makes it’s decisions have the weight of violence. Being able to petition the arbiter, and even to dispute decisions the arbiter make, are important here. But in the end, you need the arbiter, because if there is a disagreement and the parties that disagree refuse to back down, there are only two outcomes: a stalemate where nothing happens (and the grievance is never addressed), or interpersonal violence (the ultimate end of any fundamental disagreement).

                      If each party has their own arbiter, than you run into the same problem, on the next level of authority: arbiters disagreeing with each other. Since each arbiter claims to be the one with the authority to decide, you wind up with the same problem if they can’t reach an agreement. Either they decide to do nothing, or they fight it out.

                    5. (2/2)
                      The point of this, as far as I can see it, is you need a final authority that can render a decision and enforce that decision. Now, obviously, a means of petitioning this authority directly, and a means of contesting the authority’s decision, is important. It’s not exactly liberty if some god-king is handing down judgments with no way to dispute them. But I think you NEED at the very least a final say in the matter, so that everyone can get on with their lives without resorting to warfare, while whoever is unhappy with the judgement can continue to invest time petitioning the final authority (in the case of our argument, the federal government) with reasons why they dispute the ruling.

                      This is essentially why Ayn Rand, who deplored government at practically all levels, and who typically wrote her fiction in a way that suggested anarchy prevails, nonetheless stipulated in her non-fiction that a limited government was absolutely necessary to avoid chaos.

                    6. StackofCoins, this stops being a problem when the arbiter of law is unable to externalize the costs of violence onto its subjects. If defense agencies rely on subscription payments, they will always seek nonviolent solutions, because violence is very expensive. Defense agencies that rely on violence to solve disputes would rack up high operational costs and would go out of business.

        2. Hurry up, we need to make more rules about what makes a good rule so that we don’t end up with more bad rules.

    2. Not just any fruit. An apple. Which is what they stick in the mouths of pigs when they roast them. He understood the symbology, even though it wasn’t intended.

  10. The worst silly rule violation I’ve made at an airport was when they made me throw away a pair of tweezers lest I hijack the plane with them. They expected me to go to Europe with unscaped brows! And that was at the height of browscaping, before bushy came into fashion.

    1. Unfashionably bushy eyebrows are the price you pay for civilization, too.

      1. I’m shuddering at the thought that maybe Tony has a fashionable lumberbeard and a topknot.

        1. I bet Tony is prematurely balding and his facial hair is so wispy spiders are jealous.

          1. If you must, just picture one of the Hemsworths and you’re fairly close.

              1. Just go with it.

                1. How about “Andy Dick, but chubbier?”

    2. You could have put peoples eyes out with them and taken over the aircraft in a vicious eye putting out spree. We should all be thankful that brave, heroic TSA agent was there to foil your nefarious plan. /sarc

    3. I had to surrender a piece of a grooming kit because it had a blade of about 1.5 inches, and also thrown away several knifes including a small key-ring multitool because I am usually walking about with a certain level of freedom where such things are not considered contraband.

      I fly so infrequently, I fail to remind myself that I am entering a mini-tyranny every time I walk into an airport.

      1. I take a pill cutter with me, and it always seems to make it through.

  11. “Every fruit or vegetable must be declared…and must be presented for inspection?regardless of its admissibility status.”

    I declare that you have a fat potato head!

    I’m sure we’d have a pleasant and efficient TSA experience that everyone would laud if it weren’t for a few bad apples.

    1. “This is my emotional support fruit” or “Apple? How dare you. This self-identifies as a computer trademark.”

  12. It’s just an undocumented apple.

  13. Looks like she went through customs in some asshole city.

    When my mom got busted for an apple by the border beagle in a Texas airport, they MADE HER THROW IT AWAY.

  14. Really good article. I refer to these sources when warning foreigners of the traps the Kleptocracy sets to rob the unwary traveller. This is ancient practice. Congress passed the Five & Ten law making possession of a case of beer a five-hear felony with a $10,000 fine (15 pounds of gold equivalent in those days), and Coolidge signed it into law right before Bert Hoover swore to uphold it if it meant killing every man, woman and child. So… is tourism down about $5 billion and 40 kilojobs. Remember that when the ballot says LIB?

  15. What happens if you eat the apple at the gate and then puke at customs? Do they have regulations on how thoroughly digested the apple has to be before it’s duty-free barf?

  16. I wonder if Delta Airlines will be fined for the remaining bagged, sealed apples that were NOT handed out to passengers? Betchya they won’t… proving once more that some pigs are more equal than other pigs.

  17. You can almost imagine this as an Airplane! – type moment. As the Customs guy is pissing around over an apple, streams of terrorists, migrants and smugglers are parading right on by.

  18. Know what is illegal? Budapest Airport, departure day. A crowd of people rushing to flight. We quickly pass registration for the flight and run to the passport control. This is not the first time we are returning tax-fries (the tax that is returned to foreigners at the border with the amount of purchases), so we clearly remember that firstly registration, then passport control, then security check, then to customs – put a stamp on checks to get the money back. This is logical, because there is a guarantee that you firstly pass passport control, and then customs. Thus, you will not be able to give the purchased things to your local acquaintances. Having gone through all the checkpoints, we go to the help window and ask where the customs is and appeared that the customs was BEFORE passport control! That is the same inconspicuous door without a signs and there is a customs office. And we have already passed the passport control, so have passed the border, and there is no turning back. And the money should be decent. I grab the passport, tickets and run to passport control. After 10 minutes everything is done. I just went to one of the employees and explained the situation, and he held me to the customs through the service entrance back and forth. That’s how I have illegally crossed the border of Hungary twice!

  19. I always check the box for food, and when the customs agent asks, I take out the messy bag of pistachios or whatever, and the agent then realizes that he doesn’t want to have to deal with my mess, so he then lets me go.

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