From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Amid the peak Valentine's Day flower season, U.S. agents are working overtime to make sure pretty love bouquets are not used as transportation by exotic South American plant pests or cocaine traffickers.
More than eight out of every 10 cut flowers imported to the U.S. during Valentine season pass through Miami International Airport, with Colombia and Ecuador by far the largest sources of roses, chrysanthemums, gerbera daisies, Peruvian lillies and dozens of other varieties popular every Feb. 14.
Those countries are also sources for insects that could wreak havoc on American crops and gardens — and for cocaine and other drugs sold on American streets. More than 272 million individual cut flowers passed through the Miami airport between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14 last year, a number officials say is certain to be surpassed in 2011.