Man Charged with Possession and Intent to Distribute Rare Drug

Often, traffic stops lead to other criminal charges such as drunk driving or drug possession. This pattern continued during a recent traffic stop near Atlanta, Georgia. A Somali man who is living in the United States on a work visa was pulled over and now faces multiple drug charges after police found a rare drug called khat in the vehicle.

Although khat is common in Africa, it is rarely found in the U.S. In fact, a captain with the Bartow-Cartersville drug task force said, “In 21 years, this is the first time I’ve ever seen this drug.” The police task force is left wondering how the drug entered the U.S. and where it was headed.

During the traffic stop, police officers found 400 bundles of the drug wrapped in banana leaves. According to Captain Mayton, each bundle could potentially sell for about $60. All in all, the police found about $240,000 worth of khat.

The Somali man who was found with the drugs is now facing charges of drug possession with intent to distribute. Many men in his situation may also have been charged with drug trafficking. However, Georgia does not have a law that applies to khat, so he was not charged with trafficking.

Charges such as intent to distribute are often federal drug charges, which can be more difficult to fight than state charges. Anyone facing any drug charges that arise after a traffic stop should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Source: MyFoxAtlanta, “Police Bust Man with Rare African Drug,” Denise Dillon 17 Aug 2010