published Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Mask covered in chicken blood seized at border

NOGALES, Ariz. — Federal authorities say a mask covered with chicken blood and feathers has been seized at the southern Arizona border.

The mask was discovered during a routine inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers of a car crossing into Arizona through the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales.

Officers say the mask was deemed suspicious and seized because of the blood and feathers. They say the mask contained materials of a prohibitive nature that have the potential to transmit avian diseases.

The mask was turned over to officials in Customs and Border Protection's agriculture division. It ultimately was incinerated.

Officers were told the mask had been prescribed by an American Indian curandero, or healer, to help someone with insomnia. No citations were issued.

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