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Eagan Man Charged with Trying to Smuggle 87 Pounds of Khat Through O'Hare

Dominic Running, 20, allegedly told investigators that he did not know the substance was illegal.

Customs agents at O'Hare International Airport allegedly caught an Eagan man with almost 90 pounds of the drug khat, an illegal African stimulant.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, 20-year-old Dominic Running was arrested Saturday after authorities discovered 87 pounds of khat in his possession. Khat is stimulant derived from the Catha edulis shrub, which is grown in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Users chew the fresh leaves of the plant, though khat can also be smoked or steeped and made into tea. The stash is worth more than $12,000. 

Running bought the drug in the United Kingdom. Khat was legal in the UK until quite recently. The country instituted a ban on the drug just two months ago. Running told investigators that he thought the drug was a legal substance.

He has been charged with violating the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.

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