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Yemeni Store Owner Faces 40-year Sentence for Khat Trafficking in USA

Mohamed Nagi Mohamed, 48, who is a store owner in Greenville was found guilty for Khat trafficking, a controlled substance in the United States.

A store owner, Yemeni nationality, is facing forty years in prison after being convicted by a Washington County jury for trafficking around 10 pounds of a controlled substance, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood announced Friday.

“This investigation started as a counterfeit drug investigation and developed into a large controlled substance case revealing this defendant was selling Khat from his convenience store in $100 quantities,” Hood said.

“I appreciate the work of the many dedicated agencies and the decision made by the jury to get this dangerous man out of our communities and cut off his means to traffic drugs in our state,” Hood added.

In 2015, Mohammed Nagi was found selling a Schedule 1 controlled substance known as “Khat” from both his business, the Hakims Mini Mart, and his residence. Other items seized were consistent with the sale of controlled substances, including digital scales.

After he was found guilty, Mohamed was remanded into the custody of the Washington County Correctional Facility. The Yemeni store owner awaits  his sentencing date which will be set by Washington County Circuit Court Judge Ashley Hines, WLPT reported.

Khat, popular in Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, is labeld as a plant that contains a powerful central nervous system stimulant, and chronic use has been known to cause grandiose delusions, violence, suicidal depression and paranoid delusions. The leaves and stem tips are chewed, and Khat is sold either as a plant or in dried form.

According to a report conducted by CNN, 90% of Yemeni men, 70% of women, 15-20% of children under 12 chew Khat in the impoverished country of Yemen.

Read: Jordanian National Pleads Guilty for Bringing Six Yemenis into the United States

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