Police: Rare Drug (Khat) Found In Hotel Bust

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    Police: Rare Drug Found In Hotel Bust

    BLUE ASH, Ohio -- Police busted a man in possession of five kilos of a rare drug at a hotel Tuesday night. It's a story 9News broke.

    Police arrested 20-year-old Omer Mohamed Tuesday night at the Red Roof Inn on Pfeiffer Road for allegedly being in possession of a large amount of a drug called khat. Police tell 9News that they found five kilos of the drug wrapped in banana leaves, ready for sale. The drugs are estimated to be worth over $3,000.

    Khat is a little known flowering plant banned in the U.S. that is native to East Africa. Blue Ash Police Captain Jim Schaffer says the drug acts like a stimulant because it can cause euphoria. People generally chew the drug to achieve the high.

    Schaffer says it is the first time his department has ever seen the drug and he suspects that is the case for most, if not all, departments in the area.

    Police say Mohamed was having the drugs shipped to him at the hotel, he would pick them up as he checked in as a registered guest and bring them back to Columbus.

    Authorities say they do not expect to make more arrests.

    Police were acting on a tip in Mohamed's arrest and he remains locked up at the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $200,000 bond as of Wednesday afternoon.

    Mohamed has an address in Galloway, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, but is originally from the country of Somalia and immigration agents have reportedly gotten involved in the case.

    Reported by: Lance Barry
    Contributor: Bill Price
    Web Produced By: PJ O'Keefe
    Last Update: 4/14 3:41 pm


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