CBP Boasts of Capturing 67 Illegal Alien Snails Sneaking Into U.S.

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | July 15, 2014 | 6:01 PM EDT

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) may not be able to protect the southern border from illegal aliens, but at least they're keeping us safe from the threat of illegal Giant African Snails (Illegal Snail-lians?).

The CBP is boasting in a press release that it intercepted, took an "urgent sample of," and remanded into custody a gang of 67 live snails trying to sneak into the U.S. in Los Angeles:

"U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) inspected an air cargo shipment declared as 67 live snails.  Accompanying paperwork described them as Achatina Fulica for human consumption.  They arrived from Lagos, Nigeria in two plastic basket packages weighing slightly more than 35 pounds in total and were destined for San Dimas, California.

One of 67 African Snails Now in U.S. Custody

"After submitting an urgent sample to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Protection and Quarantine entomologists, their acting national mollusk specialist in Washington, D.C., identified them as Giant African Snails."

CBP warns that these dangerous snails employ a variety of aliases:

"Native to Africa, their other commonly known names are Giant African Land Snail, West African Snail, West African Land Snail, Banana Rasp Snail, and Margie."


CBP Director of Field Operations Todd C. Owen says this "significant interception" exemplifies how the CBP is protecting the nation "from the introduction of threatening foreign pests" (snails, not humans):

"This significant interception of Giant African Snails is the first time this pest has been encountered in such large quantity and as a consumption entry by CBP in Los Angeles.  It exemplifies how CBP agriculture specialists protect our nation's agriculture from the introduction of threatening foreign pests, plants and diseases."

The CBP has now sent the Gang of 67 to a detention center "for final disposition":

"USDA emphasized the importance of safeguarding this shipment of one of the most extremely damaging snail species.  Thereafter, CBP transferred the shipment to USDA's local Plant Inspection Station for final disposition."

It is unknown whether the Obama administration will grant deferred removal status to young illegal alien snails.

The CBP describes its mission as "management, control and protection of our nation's borders" and "keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. law."