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$500 fine dropped against woman who brought apple into U.S. given to her on international flight

DENVER -- A $500 fine against a woman who took an apple provided by an airline off her international flight said Wednesday she is thrilled the fine has been dropped and her global entry status has been reinstated.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers first reported Crystal Tadlock's story in April and her story went viral around the world.

Tadlock was flying back to the U.S. from Paris when a flight attendant handed her an apple. She wasn't hungry at the time so she saved the apple in her bag, thinking she would eat it as a snack on the next flight.

A customs agent found the apple, wrapped in plastic packaging with Delta's label on it, in Tadlock's purse. Tadlock said she explained she's just received the apple from Delta but the agent continued with the fine of $500 and revoked her global entry status.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter heard FOX31's story and decided to get involved.

"It didn’t sound right. It sounded excessive. I found myself kind of offended that there would be a $500 fine for an apple wrapped in plastic from Delta," said Perlmutter.

Perlmutter said he met with a group from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Perlmutter said he agrees with the rules against bringing produce into the U.S., but in Tadlock's case, this was an apple given to her by an airline.

Perlmutter said after the meeting, officials decided to drop Tadlock's fine and re-instate her Global Entry status.

"When cooler heads prevailed, and when they thought about it for a second, they did the right thing," said Congressman Perlmutter. "Now the next step is to take a look at can they add some discretion so the agency isn’t having to issue a fine like this when it doesn’t make any sense and is there something the airline can do before you get off the plane to remind you."

Tadlock said she is excited by the outcome of this case.

"Fight the good fight. Do what you think is right. I got my fine dropped and my global entry back. That’s all I wanted and all I asked for," said Tadlock.

 

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