Two San Jose Women Charged with Importing Dangerous Fruit into County

Two San Jose women have been charged with felonies after they illegally imported tropical fruit, some of which was badly infested with fruit fly larvae.

This is the first felony prosecution by the District Attorney’s Office for the illegal importing of fruit in violation of the Food and Agriculture Code.

Hanh Hong Huynh, 42, and Thanh Tuyen Huynh, 36, – unrelated to each other – are charged with conspiracy to import and sell fruit in violation of federal and state agricultural laws, prosecutors said.

Hanh Huynh was arraigned on Aug. 4, and Thanh Huynh is expected to be arraigned Sept. 8, in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

“This is serious and reckless behavior. If they spread, these flies can destroy crops,” said District Attorney Jeff Rosen. “This county’s farms and everybody’s food prices are at stake.”

Prosecutors said produce imported from outside of the United States must first be inspected by agricultural officials because it may be infected with invasive foreign pests like fruit flies.

The crimes occurred in 2022, when the defendants arranged for fruit to be shipped from Vietnam, and misidentified it as dried fish, coffee, or tea to avoid inspection.

In May 2022, local officials told Thanh Tuyen Huynh to stop selling illegal fruit, such as langsat, which is a tropical fruit with the shape of a large grape. Yet, she continued to advertise on social media and sell the fruit, some of which was seized, tested, and found to be heavily infested with the larvae of a destructive fruit fly endemic to Southeast Asia.

Also in May 2022, Hanh sent a relative to a shipping facility in Alameda County to pick up approximately 200 pounds of langsat. The shipment was addressed to her business, Tracy’s Gift Shop, located in East San Jose. 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.

Anyone with information about the unlawful importation or sale of produce in California may contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.


One Comment

  1. Local officials told Thanh Tuyen Huynh to stop selling illegal fruit.
    In a separate incident officials warned Hanh’s relative.
    There’s the problem……didn’t lay the law down fast enough or hard enough.

    They knew what they were doing was wrong but continued to do it anyway.

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