(KRON) — Two San Jose women were charged with felonies after they allegedly imported tropical fruit, some of which was badly infested with fruit flies.
Hanh Hong Huynh, 42, and Thanh Tuyen Huynh, 36, were charged with conspiracy to import and sell fruit in violation of federal and state agricultural laws.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said the women illegally imported langsat, a sweet and juicy fruit, from Vietnam and sold it in the Bay Area. Shipping containers were intentionally misidentified as “dried dish,” “coffee,” and “tea” to avoid inspection, prosecutors said.
Investigators said some of the langsat was infested with larvae of a destructive fruit fly from Southeast Asia.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said, “This is serious and reckless behavior. If they spread, these flies can destroy crops. This county’s farms and everybody’s food prices are at stake.”
Fruit imported from outside of the United States must first be inspected by agricultural officials because it may be infected with invasive foreign pests.
In 2022, local officials told Thanh Tuyen Huynh to stop selling illegal fruit. “Yet, she continued to advertise on social media and sell the fruit,” prosecutors said.
Also in 2022, Hanh Huynh sent a relative to a shipping facility in Alameda County to pick up a package containing 200 pounds of langsat. The manifest and packaging inside stated that it was dried fish, coffee, and tea. Officials warned Hanh’s relative that the importation violated the law, and the langsat was destroyed.
Hanh Huynh was arraigned on August 4 in the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. Thanh Huynh will be arraigned in court on September 8.