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Agents find illegal 'khat' near nuke plant September 1, 2005 - nctimes.com
SAN CLEMENTE CHECKPOINT ---- Border Patrol agents from the San Clemente checkpoint seized four pounds of "khat" this week from a taxicab parked near the San Onofre nuclear power plant, according to officials Thursday.
Khat is a natural stimulant from a shrub primarily grown in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula. It contains ephedrine-like ingredients that are controlled substances in the United States.
Agents were on routine patrol north of the checkpoint Tuesday when they saw the taxi parked on Interstate 5, authorities said. They said the driver told the agents he was waiting for a tow truck.
The agents noticed a suspicious package in the cab's back seat, and the driver voluntarily opened it, officials said. The Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of the driver and the 17 bundles of khat in the package.
In addition to the khat, area Border Patrol agents have seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana this week in four unrelated incidents. One involved 250 pounds of the substance that Temecula agents found in a truck trying to avoid a temporary checkpoint on Highway 395.
The San Diego Border Patrol sector has seized more than 25,000 pounds of marijuana and other drugs valued at more than $23 million during the past 11 months.