A Minnesota man arrested at O’Hare Airport on Saturday told authorities he didn't know the drug he was carrying was illegal.
Dominic K. Running, 20, was taken into custody at about 4:30 p.m. when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found him with 85 pounds of Khat in his suitcases.
The stimulant, also known as cathinone, is a plant native to northern Africa and the Middle East that is often chewed as a stimulant. It is a Schedule I narcotic in the United States.
Running, of Egan, Minn., had taken a British Airways flight to Chicago and had 24.4 kilograms of the drug in a green suitcase and 15.1 kilograms in a black suitcase.
Running told authorities he bought the Khat for 200 British pounds in suburban London. He told investigators family and friends were using the drug at a wedding earlier this year and he didn’t know it was illegal, according to court records.
The drug has a street values of $12,211, according to court documents.
Judge Donald Panarese ordered Running held on a $20,000 I-Bond and ordered electronic monitoring Sunday.