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Woman trying to stomach $500 fine for free airline snack

(KDVR via CNN Newsource)

A Colorado woman says the 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.

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

Tadlock says a Delta flight attendant handed her an apple toward the end of her flight from Paris.

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

When she went through customs, Tadlock says her bag was randomly searched.

A customs agent pulled out the apple in the 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 says she's frustrated. She says Delta shouldn't have handed out apples or at least warned passengers not to take them off the plane, and says customs clearly saw this apple came from an airline.

"I understand the laws and the department of agriculture doesn't want certain insects in the U.S. But once again, the apple is from Delta and I think that's the most important part of this story," she said.

Delta said in a statement: "We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols."

And a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said "privacy policy prohibits U.S. Customs and Border Patrol from discussing the details of any individuals specific inspection, however all agriculture items must be declared."

Now all because of this apple, Tadlock faces a fine.

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