By MICHAEL SHAIN
In a cargo warehouse at the edge of JFK Airport, palettes of fresh-cut flowers from around the world pour in like Volkswagons coming off the assembly line.
Valentines is the busy season for Customs and Border Protection, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security whose job it is to make sure no eight-legged illegals — bugs, that is — get into the country.
Mother’s Day is sort of busy, too, says Customs Branch Chief Robert Redes, looking over a boxes of amarylis, orchids and assorted other blooms that had been pulled from a shipment that arrived a few hours before from the Netherlands. “But not like this,” he says.
A few shipments of flowers come into Kennedy, a major port of U.S. entry second only to Miami, every day, he says. But in the week before Valentine’s Day, there are 15 to 20 planes a day loaded with flowers landing in Queens.
Theresa Carrol, an agriculture inspector who works the busy night shift for Customs, says she has not lost her love for flowers — even after 6 1/2 years of doing this work.
But her husband knows not to get her flowers for special occasions anymore. “I get chocolate,” she says.
©2017 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.