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Man With 85 Pounds Of Drugs At O’Hare Said He Didn’t Know It Was Illegal

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Dominic Running (Cook County Sheriff's booking photo)

Dominic Running (Cook County Sheriff’s booking photo)

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CHICAGO (STMW) — A Minnesota man nabbed at O’Hare Airport with more than 85 pounds of the stimulant Khat told authorities he did not know the drug was illegal.

Dominic K. Running, 20, was arrested at 4:30 p.m. Saturday when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found him with 39.5 kilograms of the drug Khat at O’Hare Airport, according to court documents.

Khat, or 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.

The drugs weighed just over 85 pounds.

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.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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