An Ethiopian refugee has been sentenced to serve four months in federal custody for conspiring to import more than 400 pounds of an exotic plant used as a drug.
Sherif Kadir Sirage, known as Sherif Sherif, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court with four months' credit for time served. Another man, Patrick Bahati, is awaiting sentencing on a similar charge.
Prosecutors claim Sirage and Bahati arranged to have 400 pounds of a plant called khat flown into Salt Lake City from Ethiopia.
Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub that is chewed like tobacco in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula. It is considered a narcotic and is illegal in the United States, as well as parts of Europe, east Africa and the Arabian peninsula. The plant's effect on the human body is similar to ephedra.
Sirage is expected to be released, since he already has served the time the court sentenced him to.