Miami Couple Arrested for Contaminated Cheese Smuggling

Cheese smuggling sounds like some sort of weird euphemism, but in this case we really mean that two people in Miami have been arrested for smuggling contaminated cheese into the country. Yuri Izurieta, 41, and Anneri Izurieta, 46, husband and wife, and their company, Naver Trading Corp., have been indicted on smuggling charges. Feds claim that besides the smuggling, the couple sold cheese that they knew to be contaminated with bacteria like salmonella.

The couple had been importing cheese and other dairy products for years, but the Food and Drug Administration took away their authorization to do so after they informed them they thought some of the cheeses they were importing were contaminated. Though the couple's company continued to import cheese with out any FDA inspection.

The FDA caught wind of the stench, and alleges that the Izurieta were selling cheese that they knew to be contaminated. Though, no one is believed to have gotten from sick from the cheese.

Now this may seem like a somewhat small case, but it did take the following people and federal agencies to collaborate on the arrests: Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, Miami Field Office, and David Bourne, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigation. Good team work, guys.

The couple has been charged with six counts of smuggling and one count of conspiracy. The conspiracy charges carries a maximum jail sentence of five years, while each smuggling charge could bring 20 years in prison.

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Kyle Munzenrieder