St. Louis Park resident Saeed Yusef Kahiye is facing drug charges after an off-duty Minneapolis police officer nabbed him and two Minneapolis men at a Minneapolis apartment complex.
According to the criminal complaint, the trio were using khat, an addictive plant with amphetamine-like properties popular in the Horn of Africa region and Yemen. Khat contains the chemical cathinone, which is considered a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in Minnesota, similar to drugs like marijuana and peyote.
On Jan. 18, Minneapolis police say one of their officers was working off-duty at the Phillips Tower apartment building in Minneapolis, when he received a tip that residents in one apartment were dealing and using khat. On arriving at the apartment door, the officer started to talk with one man nervously chewing a "green substance" that he kept trying to swallow. When the man opened the apartment door further, the officer reported seeing a clear plastic baggie containing khat, as well as a scale and a paper bag.
Several of the men in the room, including Kahiye, tried to hide three other baggies, together containing almost 100 grams of khat, by throwing them out of the officer's site or by tucking them under their legs.
Kahiye faces one charge of fifth-degree drug possession, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.