Feds seize 214 pounds of illegal stimulant khat at Dulles airport

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Local,Transportation,Crime,Naomi Jagoda,War on Drugs

Nearly 214 pounds of an illegal stimulant called khat was seized by Customs and Border Protection Officers at Washington Dulles International Airport, officials said.

Officers found about $30,000 worth of the drug on Dec. 21 during a routine inspection of freight listed as wooden coffee tables. It's the largest seizure of khat at Dulles in more than two years, according to CBP officials.

Khat is a green, leafy plant that is typically grown in the Arabian Peninsula and is chewed for its stimulant effect.

The freight containing the drug was being shipped from a wood working company in Kenya to a furniture store in the District, and it came to Dulles on a flight from Qatar.

The substance was destroyed, but the U.S. Attorney's office has declined to file charges in the case. CBP spokesman Steve Sapp said that a lack of prosecution is not unusual in khat cases because the substance is only potent for about 48 hours after it is harvested and then it breaks down quickly.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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