Cops seize 15 pounds of khat in Fargo

15 pounds of illegal ruffage

15 pounds of illegal ruffage

When a North Fargo resident agreed to receive a package at his apartment for Mohamed Suleiman Mohamud, he wasn't expecting the package to contain 15 pounds of drugs.

But on Saturday, when he opened the package that arrived he found clumps of a leafy plant that made him suspicious, and he called the police.


Turns out the package was full of khat, a plant native to eastern Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Khat contains cathine, a compound that acts as a mild stimulant. It's commonly chewed in Yemen and the horn of Africa, but it's illegal in the States.

Because the active chemicals in khat start to degrade within 48 hours of picking and the plant can't be cultivated outside of its native region, it is most commonly flown into the country. The package sent to Fargo came via an air-courier service.

It's also not the biggest haul of khat to be intercepted in Fargo by a long shot. In 2008, police seized 600 pounds of the stuff.

When he came by the apartment to pick up the package, Mohamud was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

"This is definitely more than an individual supply, says Fargo Police Sgt. Mark Lykken. "It takes more than one person to chew 15 pounds of khat."