BOISE, Idaho — Idaho State Police officials say they will release information later Thursday about a recent seizure of several hundred pounds of khat, an illegal stimulant originating in East Africa.
Police officials say U.S. Customs agents seized the drug, which was ground up to look like tea, as it was being shipped into Boise sometime earlier this summer.
Idaho State Police officials have scheduled a press conference for later Thursday to provide details on what led to the seizure. Idaho State Police spokesman Rick Ohnsman said there is evidence the shipment came from the San Francisco area and detectives suspect at least some of the drug would have likely been sold in the Boise area.
No one has been arrested in connection with the case as of Thursday morning.
Khat (Catha edulis) is a flowering shrub native to northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Individuals chew khat leaves as a stimulant — the effect of which are similar to but less intense than those caused by abusing cocaine or methamphetamine, according to a U.S. Department of Justice Web site.
The use of khat is accepted within the Somali, Ethiopian, and Yemeni cultures, and in the United States khat use is most prevalent among immigrants from those countries, according to DOJ reports.