(CNN) – A Colorado woman said U.S. Customs and Border Patrol wants to fine her $500 for a free apple. She received the fruit from an airline on her way home from Paris.
Crystal Tadlock’s healthy snack turned into a tough reality to stomach. “It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit,” Tadlock told KDVR in an interview.
Tadlock said a Delta flight attendant handed her an apple near the end of flight. She said she wasn’t hungry at the time, so she put it into her carry-on bag.
Tadlock’s bag was randomly searched as she went through customs. An agent pulled out the apple, which was still in a plastic pouch from Delta.
“He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive. And I said ‘Yeah,’ I didn’t really get why he was asking that question. And then he said, ‘It’s about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500,’” she said.
Tadlock said she’s frustrated with the situation. She thinks Delta shouldn’t have handed out apple, or at least warned passengers not to take them off the plane. Tadlock said US Customs clearly saw the apple was from an airline.
“I understand the laws and the Department of Agriculture doesn’t want certain insects in the US, but once again, the apple is from Delta. And I think that’s the most important part of this story,” Tadlock said.
Delta said in a statement, “We encourage our customers to follow US Customs and Border Protection protocols.”
(Copyright (c) 2020 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)