Customs officials intercept thousands of live invasive crabs in Ohio

Posted at 11:55 AM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 13:25:40-04

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Customs officials in Cincinnati discovered thousands of live crabs that they said someone was trying to smuggle into the country.

Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered the invasive Chinese mitten crabs on Oct. 16 while conducting routine inspections, the agency said in a news release.

The crabs are considered a seasonal delicacy in Asia, according to Customs officials. But they have had a "disastrous impact" on habitats where they've been introduced.

The crabs were hidden in packages labeled as various types of clothing. They were being sent to various residences in New York. The shipments were refused entry into the U.S. 

Across the country, Customs agriculture specialists intercepted more than 352 pests and 4,638 quarantine materials on any given day in the fiscal year 2017, according to the agency.