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Over 440lbs of stimulant drug khat seized at Ambassador Bridge

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

Almost 450 pounds of khat, a stimulant drug made from the leaves and twigs of evergreen shrubs, were found by U.S. border protection officers on the Ambassador Bridge late last month. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers confiscated more than 440 pounds of khat from a commercial truck during inspections Aug. 27. 

As officers at the Port of Detroit were inspecting vehicles leaving the United States, a commercial truck was chosen for further examination. Officers then found substances that were later identified as khat in cardboard moving boxes in the truck. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers confiscated more than 440 pounds of khat from a commercial truck during inspections on August 27 on the Ambassador Bridge.

“Whether entering or exiting the United States, CBP personnel work tirelessly to ensure the integrity of our shared border with Canada,” said port director Devin Chamberlain. “I’m proud of the continued successes our officers have in keeping illicit drugs from crossing our borders.” 

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the controlled substances, cathine and cathinone, found in the East African plant khat can cause hallucinations, paranoia, euphoria and more. 

The DEA lists the effects of khat as being similar to those of cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine. 

Under the Controlled Substances Act, cathine is a schedule IV stimulant, and cathinone is a Schedule I stimulant, which means the substances have a high potential for abuse. Cathine and cathinone are also not accepted for medical use in the United States.