Baffling drug bust - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Baffling drug bust

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Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

ATLANTA (FOXNEWS) - Police want to know how an extremely rare drug common in parts of Africa showed up in Georgia. Investigators busted a man for Khat which is both a hallucinogen and a stimulant.

The man they arrested is charged with possession with intent to distribute. Police couldn't charge him with trafficking because Khat is so uncommon there isn't even a state law that covers this particular drug.

It's a drug even members of the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force has never seen. Captain Mark Mayton said, "In 21 years, this is the first time I've even seen this drug."

Investigators say it only grows in parts of Africa and a couple of European countries. They call it a cultural drug in the Somalian and Ethiopian community. "People who use Khat chew a shoot. It's a stimulant, like speed or meth. It's also an hallucenogenic drug, like mushrooms," Mayton explained.

Police say it's rare and pricey. "Each one of these bundles is about $60 and [we found] 400 of them, so it's about a equivalent to a quarter of a $1 million."

Police say they found the suitcases when they pulled over 31-year-old Hussein Dahir Sheikaden on a traffic stop. Skeikaden is a native of Somalia who's in this country on a work visa.

Police say they are now trying out where the drug originated. "We know it comes from across the Atlantic. We want to know what those travel corridors are, so we can target those individuals."

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