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News Release
October 10, 2002

Portland Man Convicted in Khat Case

Portland, Maine: Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge for the New England Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Attorney Paula D. Silisby, announced that a federal jury sitting in Portland, Maine yesterday returned a guilty verdict in a case involving trafficking in Khat. The jury found Abdigani Hussein, age 30, of Portland, guilty of possession with intent to distribute a substance containing cathinone, which is the active chemical ingredient in Khat.

The evidence at the trial showed that federal DEA agents arrested Hussein on March 22nd of this year after Hussein received delivery of a parcel containing Khat. The evidence further showed that Hussein intended to deliver the Khat to a friend for sale in the Lewiston area.

Hussein faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence significantly shorter than that. The presiding judge in the case has taken under advisement a request by Hussein's lawyers to enter a judgment of acquittal, not withstanding the jury's verdict, on the grounds related to the manner in which federal regulations describe Khat and cathinone as controlled substances.

Please direct any inquires to Special Agent Anthony J. Pettigrew, Public Information Officer, New England Field Division at 617-557-2138


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