After reading Thi's post:
About a month ago, the USDA changed their regulations and Sichuan Peppercorns are now legal with heat treatment. Importers are usually slow to learn of the new regulations so expect to see them in the Los Angeles marketplace in a little while.
If you didn't know, they were illegal because they are part of the citrus family and can carry diseases.
Also, they have fields of Fresh Sichuan Pepper growing in Tulare and market the fresh peppercorns in many asian markets in Fresno for a hefty price.