$500 Fine Dropped for Woman Who Brought Apple Through Customs

Jun 7, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The $500 fine levied on a woman who brought an apple through US Customs and Border Protection after deplaning from an international flight in April has been dropped.

Crystal Tadlock was offered an apple as a snack on board her US-bound Delta flight from Paris (CDG) on April 22. Tadlock had placed the apple in her purse and failed to throw it out before going through the airport customs checkpoint. A US Customs agent discovered the apple in Tadlock’s bag, charged her $500 and revoked her Global Entry status.

Undeclared agricultural products are not allowed to be brought into the United States.

US CBP dropped the fine and reinstated Tadlock’s Global Entry status after her representative from Congress became involved.

“It didn’t sound right,” US Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado told Fox 31 Denver of the fee. “It sounded excessive. I found myself kind of offended that there would be a $500 fine for an apple wrapped in plastic from Delta,” he said, noting he agrees with the laws against bringing in produce from other countries, but that this case was different because the apple was given to her by an airline.

So, Perlmutter decided to meet with US CBP and the US Department of Agriculture.

“When cooler heads prevailed, and when they thought about it for a second, they did the right thing,” Perlmutter said. “Now the next step is to take a look at can they add some discretion so the agency isn’t having to issue a fine like this when it doesn’t make any sense and is there something the airline can do before you get off the plane to remind you.”

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, it could be a good idea to write a letter to your congressional representative about it. To avoid a similar fine, read this guide on what food items can go through US Customs.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.