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More than 200 pounds of khat found at Dulles

Friday - 12/28/2012, 12:57pm  ET

STERLING, Va. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has seized more than 200 pounds of an illegal stimulant from the Middle East that was shipped as air freight to Dulles International Airport.

The agency says it found 214 pounds of khat (COT) while inspecting freight that was listed as wood coffee tables. The drug had been shipped from Doha, Qatar, and has an estimated street value of $30,000.

Khat is a leafy plant that's chewed for its stimulant effect. It's classified as a dangerous narcotic in the United States.

CBP says it destroyed the drug, and no charges will be filed. CBP spokesman Steve Sapp says it can be difficult to pursue criminal charges for dealing khat because it starts to break down about 48 hours after harvesting.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)