I tried to follow up with USFWS about the issues at the Houston International Airport because I have a group coming through in July. This is the response I got from them. Not very helpful I'm afraid.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lynn Kimsey <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 11:35 AM
Subject: issue with insect specimens at Houston airport
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Dear Dr. Tuggle,
I recently heard from some colleagues that problems have developed with bringing insect specimens through Houston International Airport, even specimens with permits or that belong to and are being returned to American collections. Here is what was said two weeks ago via our professional listserve:
"I don’t know if you guys have heard – but don’t try to bring specimens into the country through Houston. The guy that replaced Ron in Honduras was recently stopped and all his material confiscated even though he had permits and even though much of it was American material he was returning. The new F&WS inspector, Amy Bailey is a self appointed protector of insects.
She confiscates everything regardless of permits and her attitude is “tell it to the judge.”
The USDA inspectors are referring all imports to her."
If this is indeed happening I would like an explanation for why permits and ownership are being ignored. I have a group returning from Belize through Houston in June. They are participating in an insect survey in collaboration with Belize authorities, with the appropriate permits, and will be bringing specimens back for identification. It is impossible to identify the majority of non-listed insect species in the field. We work very hard to move insect specimens according to legal requirements.
Lynn S. Kimsey
Director, Bohart Museum of Entomology
Professor of Entomology