Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Survivor Show Brings Contaminated Items to Houston

There are many television programs that come with a unique set of props critical to the storytelling element of the show. Saturday Night Live must have a room filled with the clothing and hairpieces needed to transform cast members into today's top political figures. Deal or No Deal undoubtedly has enough suitcases for every woman to hold her assigned dollar amount. With all of its exotic locations throughout its eight years on the air, Survivor is certain to have some of the most interesting accessories available to provide a sense of reality to the viewing audience. Some freight arriving in Houston recently from the West African nation of Gabon, the most recent destination for the popular series, was not only fascinating but also quite illegal.

A container of props from the Survivor show being sent back to the United States included termite-infested masks, a baboon skull with possible contamination, animal hides, feathers, and undetermined bones. Most of the items were seized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for further evaluation. It is possible that such lovely keepsakes could harbor deadly diseases such as the Ebola virus. The CBS network, which airs Survivor, may be subject to fines as determined by the Department of Agriculture. Jeffery Baldwin Sr., Houston customs field operations director, accurately shared that items of a dangerous nature that are imported "may have serious effects on our nation".

The discovery of a primate skull or a ceremonial mask is certainly not a common occurrence in the daily routine of a customs agent. However, drugs, live animals, and other contraband items do pose a serious concern to those who are working to keep our airports and waterways safe and free of crime. If you decide to test the system and attempt to bring illegal material into this country, Bertolino LLP has attorneys who can assist you in the criminal defense that you certainly will need. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today to share your story.

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