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Customs agents processed millions of flowers for Valentine’s Day

The United States Customs Office processes shipments that are curried from overseas by passenger planes regularly but recently the cargo has been anything but normal.  Customs agents processed millions of flowers in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day that were destined for the arms of sweethearts across the country.  You may be surprised to learn that most of these flowers came from Colombia and Ecuador.  In fact this South American nation supplies about half of the world’s cut flowers.  This is primarily due to the Colombian climate, which is very favorable for growing flowers including the Valentine’s Day favorite, roses.

So what was it about romantic bunches of roses that had U.S. Customs concerned?  The answer is that those bunches of flowers could have had drugs or insects hidden inside.  Colombia is also the world’s leading cocaine supplier.  The U.S. and Colombian governments have been working in tandem to battle the Colombian drug industry since the late 1990s when President Clinton and President Pastrana implemented Plan Colombia.  This controversial international agreement aimed to end the pervasiveness of the drug industry in Colombia and throughout the world.  U.S. Customs ensures that efforts to minimalize the spread of Colombian drugs aren’t thwarted.  Also, Colombian insects can be extremely destructive to plants and animals that are native to the U.S., so Customs ensures that our bouquets don’t carry anything but romance over our borders.

Many of the planes that carried those cut flowers were passenger planes which also carried travelers from around the world to United States ports.  It is at these locations that U.S. Customs also performs seizures of money.  Money seizures occur when agents suspect that the money is associated with illegal activity.  If your money is seized; you will bear the burden of proving that the funds came from a legitimate source and that they were intended to be used for a legal purpose.  This is a tenuous process and it takes experience to handle it effectively.  That is exactly what our attorneys possess.  If your money has been seized, call our attorneys at 877-406-6906 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Winter Classic US Customs Seizure of Apparel

Winter Classic US Customs Seizure of Apparel: Detroit Office of U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations seizes $723, 377 in Counterfeit Sports Merchandise in Preparation for the NHL Winter Classic

While many think if U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE), or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) seizing primarily money, in fact the agency has broad seizure powers. It can also seize imports which violate Federal law, and counterfeit products which violate copyright and international property laws, which are also exclusively federal. This means if you are busted for counterfeiting NHL gear, it will not be by your local small town police officers, it will be a full scale federal investigation, as one organization learned recently. Reports state that the investigation took fully three months.

In preparation for the National Hockey League’s “Winter Classic” in Ann Arbor, Michigan a significant amount of apparel and merchandise was prepared both legally and illegally. The Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs played January 1, 2014 to ring in the New Year. The Leafs were ultimately victorious, and undoubtedly many merchants many a small fortune selling items bearing the logo to commemorate the event.

ICE also crushed the opposition by seizing nearly three quarters of a million dollar’s worth of counterfeit gear. The contraband may have included hats, jerseys, commemorative sporting equipment, and other apparel. ICE worked with USCP, and the Detroit police to bring in the $6,121 items. It has not yet been released whether the individuals will be charged criminally or not.  Regardless, it is unlikely the goods will be returned in this case even if the perpetrators are able to avoid criminal prosecution.

Whether the federal government seized your money, your mail, or your jerseys, you should know that there are firm deadlines in these cases. Noncompliance with these deadlines results in cases that are dead in the water and not viable to pursue at an administrative level.  Our aggressive attorneys await your call so we can get to work getting your seized money reclaimed. Our firm has the skills and experience that you need on your side for success. Nationwide, call our Attorneys at 877-406-6906 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


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