USA: Man gets probation in khat drug arrest
Abdignani Raage and Abdimajid Said
Green Bay Press Gazette
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Charges against three men for allegedly bringing the first known supply of the illegal drug khat into Green Bay could be resolved within the next several weeks.
One man, Abdignani Raage, 30, of Green Bay has pleaded no contest to related charges in Brown County Circuit Court. Two other men, Abdimajid Said, 37, of Minneapolis, and Hussein Salad, 31, of Howard, are scheduled for trial next month.
Raage was sentenced earlier this month to two years of probation for felony possession of a nonnarcotic with intent to deliver and two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Said and Salad are both charged with a felony count of possession with intent to deliver. Said is scheduled for a Jan. 14 final pretrial conference. Salad’s final pretrial conference is Jan. 28.
The three are believed to be immigrants from Somalia, where the drug immensely popular, according to police.
Khat is a shrub that grows in East Africa and the Middle East and is typically chewed like tobacco. It has been illegal in the U.S. since 1993. However, khat still is legal in many countries worldwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The effect of the drug is similar to that of cocaine or methamphetamine, though less intense, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Drug Intelligence Center. Chronic abuse can result in exhaustion, violence and suicidal depression.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security allegedly intercepted two boxes of khat at a Cincinnati port in October 2011, according to court records. The boxes, which came from the Netherlands, were addressed to a postal mailbox in Green Bay. Local drug enforcement agents were notified. They staked out that postal box and arrested the three when they showed up to pick up the delivery, the complaint says.
Local drug enforcement officers say this was their first khat-related find but that they expect the drug to become more common as the area’s Somali population grows.
Source: Green Bay Press Gazette