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Cops find man 11 years after khat delivery

WILLMAR — A 37-year-old Eagan man made his first court appearance Monday on two first-degree controlled substance crime charges for his role in receiving a delivery of 96 pounds of khat back in October 2002.

Unconditional bail was set at $50,000 for Ahmed Mohamed Jama. His next appearance is Sept. 11 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Jama and two others were charged in the case. Hiss Ahmed Ismail pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree controlled substance charge in April 2003 and was sentenced to 150 days in jail, a $500 fine and five years of probation. Siyad Abdi Warfa was acquitted of his charges in July 2003.

According to the complaint, CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents received information from a shipping company that there were two large and suspicious packages to be delivered to an address along the 1100 block of 24th Street Northwest. The shipping company believed both the lighting company name and the recipient name on the packages were fictitious. The delivery man also reported to task force agents that he’d delivered similar packages three weeks prior to Somali men who asked him to meet them at a fast food restaurant.

The packages were brought to the Law Enforcement Center in Willmar and a canine officer inspected them, alerting on what was revealed to be 96 pounds of khat, packaged in bundles of 60 sticks each. Each of the sticks was estimated at $20, for an estimated total street value of $370,800.

A drug task force agent acted as the delivery man and brought the packages to the address, where Jama signed for them, with Warfa also at the apartment. Other officers who were conducting surveillance saw Jama and Ismail come out of the building with the packages and put them into a car. The vehicle was stopped and the men arrested. Jama denied any knowledge of the drugs. Warfa told officers he thought there were shoes in the packages.

Each of the khat sticks was estimated at $20, for an estimated total street value of $370,800. Khat is a leafy plant that contains a stimulant listed as a controlled substance.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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