MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Criminal charges are expected to filed against a 54-year-old man who was caught transporting 6.5 pounds of Khat from Minneapolis to St. Cloud, according to St. Cloud Police.
Members of the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force were notified several months ago that a couple was transporting large quantities of Khat from Minneapolis to St. Cloud – providing most, if not all, the Khat to the Somalian community there. Police say Khat was being used by people as young as 12 years old.
Investigators determined that a man, identified as Ahmed Hassan Abade, had traveled to the Minneapolis area on June 19 and again on June 24. When he returned to St. Cloud on June 24, he was seen pulling into the parking lot of a residence on the 1000 block of 7th Street Southeast, where the other half of the couple, a female party, lived.
When approached by investigators, Abade was seen carrying two cardboard boxes toward the apartment building. He was stopped and consented to a search of his vehicle and the boxes, which resulted in the discovery of the dried Khat.
Police say the estimated street value of the Khat seized is $3,000.
Abade was released at the conclusion of the stop and will likely face a charge of fifth-degree controlled substance possession. The female party denied any involvement and is not expected to be charged.
Police thank members of the Somali community in St. Cloud for coming forward with information, which helped greatly in the task force’s investigation.
Khat is a leafy substance that’s commonly chewed and produces amphetamine-like effects.