POCOMOKE CITY, Md. - A traffic stop in Pocomoke City leads to an unusual drug bust, one police say they haven't ever seen ever in their city.
When Pocomoke City police stopped the suspect, he allegedly said he had purchased cigarettes in another state. But then, police uncovered a drug not normally seen on this continent.
It's called khat and it's a stimulant that's native to East Africa and Somalia and considered a Schedule *one* drug by the federal government. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it's a controlled substance with no recognized therapeutic use. Estimates have as many as 10 million people worldwide chewing the khat leaves, but there are no reliable estimates of existence in the United States.
"Its a hallucinogenic drug that cause problems down the road if you use this drug," said Pocomoke City police chief Kelvin Sewell.
During the traffic stop on Route 13 South near the Tulls Corner Road hearing towards Accomack County, Va., a subsequent search of the vehicle allegedly turned up not only the drug, but also more than $23,000 in cash.
Sewell couldn't release the identity of the suspect, but says he's not from this country. Now, the unidentified man sits behind bars as the investigation continues to see if there's more than the $5,000 worth of khat already seized.
"We don't know how it got here, but as of right now the case is still pending," said Sewell.
Sewell says that outside departments, possible federal agencies will be looking into the case.