Drug Team Snags 43 Pounds of Exotic Narcotic

Investigators deliver package allegedly intended for Chicago cab driver

A Cook County Sheriff’s Police Gang Investigation Team has helped foil what they believe to be an international drug deal.

Investigators say 43 pounds of khat -- a plant that produces amphetamine-like effects -- was destined for an address on the 2600 block of South 15th Street in Chicago.

The package originated in France, and was first detained by Homeland Security officials on the East Coast on November 14. Local investigators took possession of the package a couple of days later at O'Hare, and delivered the package to its intended target.

Hassan Khalif-Mohamud, a Chicago cab driver, was arrested and held without bond for violating probation on a 2010 charge for possession of a controlled substance.

The drugs have an estimated street value of nearly $20,000. Khat is a shrub found in East Africa and the Arabian-Peninsula. The fresh leaves are chewed and kept in the cheek to produce its euphoric effects.

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