SEVILLE, Ohio - Medina County sheriff's deputies seized $15,000 cash and 1.5 kilos of Khat, a plant containing an illegal drug with effects similar to cocaine.
It happened during a traffic stop for littering on Interstate 76 in Seville last week.
The sheriff’s office reported when the vehicle was pulled over, deputies observed the driver chewing a green plant, and the plant also was scattered around the passenger seats.
Deputies said the three male occupants of the car agreed to a search, and when they opened the trunk, deputies found the large amount of Khat and the cash.
Khat is a flowering shrub native to northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The leaves are chewed because of their stimulant effects, which typically last 90 minutes to three hours. It can be addictive.
The sheriff’s office sent the seized Khat to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for analysis.
The three men in the vehicle were identified as Somali nationals who are in the U.S. legally.
They told deputies they were traveling back to Maine after a short visit to Columbus, but the car had Colorado license plates.
The men were released pending the BCI chemical analysis of the Khat.
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