Two Men Apprehended at the US Border

Helen Whalen Cohen

7/23/2012 1:30:00 PM - Helen Whalen Cohen

Two men were recently apprehended by Border Patrol and spent two hours in custody. What offense had these hardened criminals committed? Trying to smuggle chocolate eggs into the United States:

 

SEATTLE (AP) — Two Seattle men say they spent more than two hours in a detention center at the Canadian border after U.S. border agents discovered illegal chocolate eggs in their car.

Brandon Loo and Christopher Sweeney told KOMO-TV(http://is.gd/usuy85 ) they decided to bring home some treats for friends and family during a recent trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. They bought Kinder Eggs — chocolate eggs with a toy inside.

The two men say border guards searched their car and said the eggs are illegal in the United States because young children could choke on the small plastic toys. Importing them can lead to a potentially hefty fine.

Sweeney says the bust was a waste of his time and the agents' time. The men eventually got off with a warning.

I find it hard to believe that the US Customs and Border Protection has nothing better to do than prevent people from smuggling illegal candy into the United States. Not only is it completely nonsensical to outlaw candy in the first place, but when allocating scarce resources, it's pretty ridiculous that this gets priority. As usual, overcriminalization leads to resources being directed away from real problems to contrived ones.