Capt. Mark Mayton, commander of the Bartow County-Cartersville Drug Task Force, said it's the first time his unit has seen the flowering evergreen shrub native to East Africa, primarily Somalia and Ethiopia.
In the press release, Mayton said a K-9 deputy pulled over Somalia native Hussein Dahir Sheikaden, 31, of Stone Mountain, for allegedly failing to maintain his lane. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up two suitcases full of khat.
Mayton estimated the alleged load of khat is worth $250,000. The substance produces stimulant and hallucinogenic effects in users, who often chew it like tobacco.
Read Friday's issue of The Daily Tribune News for further coverage.