Woman says Customs fined her $500 for bringing apple given to her by Delta into US

"I wasn't hungry at the time so I jammed it in my carry-on."

April 23, 2018, 1:26 PM

United States Customs and Border Protection is not the apple of Crystal Tadlock's eye.

Tadlock told Fox affiliate KDVR she was on a Delta flight back from Paris headed to Minneapolis when flight attendants passed out free apples in plastic bags. She said she took one despite not being hungry, and instead saved it for later on her connecting flight to Denver.

"I wasn't hungry at the time so I jammed it in my carry-on," Tadlock told KDVR in Denver, which she lives just outside of.

Tadlock said she was going through Customs when she said her bag was randomly searched by an agent who found the apple inside the plastic bag it was originally handed out in.

According to Tadlock, the agent asked if her trip to France was expensive, and she replied yes.

"It's about to get a whole lot more expensive after I charge you $500," the agent then allegedly said to Tadlock, she told KDVR.

She said she was then fined $500 and lost her global entry status.

In a statement to ABC News, Delta said, "We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols."

Tadlock told KDVR that she feels that Delta should have warned customers not to take the apples off the plane or not hand them out at all.

"I understand the laws and I understand the Department of Agriculture doesn't want certain insects in the U.S. and such, but once again the apple is from Delta," Tadlock said.

In a statement to ABC News, CBP said "Privacy policy prohibits CBP from discussing the details of any individuals specific inspection, however all agriculture items must be declared. Prohibited items that are not declared by a passenger are confiscated and disposed of by CBP. More importantly, civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to $1,000 per first-time offense for noncommercial quantities. If the items are determined to be for commercial use, violations will be assessed at a much higher rate."

According to the CBP website, travelers must declare fruits, vegetables, plants and animal products.

Tadlock told KDVR that she plans to fight the fine in court.

"It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit," Tadlock said.

ABC News' Geneva Sands contributed to this report.