Deputies find unusual drug in van during traffic stop; 2 arrested

WOOD COUNTY, W.Va. (WTAP) - Two Michigan men in a van stopped for speeding on Interstate 77 Tuesday morning were arrested on drug charges after more than four pounds of the stimulant khat was found in their vehicle, authorities said.

Ali Mohamad-Saif Almadrahi, 30, and Ismail Al-Madrahi, 33, were arrested after Wood County sheriff’s deputies pulled over their van at the Marathon gas station at Route 95 and Interstate 77.

There were each given a $300,000 bond during arraignment in Wood County Magistrate Court on charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. They were being held at the Wood County Holding Center Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff Steve Stephens said a K9 helped deputies and members of the Parkersburg Violent Crimes and Narcotics Task Force locate 4 pounds, 8 ounces of the drug in the rear passenger area of the van.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, khat, a controlled substance in the United States, is commonly chewed in east African and the Arab peninsula. It is often used socially in the Somali and Yemeni cultures.

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