We're still waiting for a good explanation of why Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement group is involved in internet copyright issues that have nothing to do with either immigration or customs enforcement, but it appears that those sharp border patrol folks are really doing their job protecting Americans from... chocolate toy eggs. Tim Good alerted us to this story of how the US Border Patrol did a random search on a Canadian woman's car as she crossed the border into Minnesota, and told her she had illegal contraband in her car
in the form of a Kinder Surprise Egg
. I'd never heard of this before, but apparently it's a confection with a chocolate shell and a toy inside.
According to US border patrol, they told her that it was a choking hazard and on the list of "prohibited items" in the US, though, as the folks at Reason (reasonably) point out
A gander at the image... suggests you'd have to be awfully intent on getting that chocolate into your system not to notice the huge, bright yellow plastic capsule inside.
Take a look for yourself:
Of course, that's not the end of the story, either. After leaving the chocolate egg and toy to the US border patrol agents, and figuring it was just a nuisance, the woman was somewhat surprised to receive a letter a week later, asking her if she was planning to come back to retrieve the egg. They noted if she did not, and she wanted to fight the seizure of the egg, she would need to pay the US government $250 in "storage costs" for the egg.
Is this really the best use of border patrol?