JASPER COUNTY, Ind. - A traffic stop that yielded $20,000 worth of Khat sent two people to jail in Jasper County Tuesday, Indiana State Police said.
ISP troopers said they stopped a 2012 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation on Interstate-65 south near the 222 mile marker in northern Indiana, about 40 miles south of Gary.
During the traffic stop, troopers said they suspected criminal activity. ISP K-9 partner Ryker was alerted to the trunk of the vehicle. When troopers popped the trunk, they found a bed sheet covering up bundles of Khat.
The driver, Derald Pike, 28, of Illinois, and his passenger, Walter Stevenson, 31, of Chicago, were taken to Jasper County Jail on several charges including dealing and possession of a controlled substance.
Investigators said Khat is a flowering plant that is mostly grown in Africa. It has a short shelf life (normally within two weeks) before it starts to lose its potency. Users of Khat usually chew it for the stimulant-euphoric effect it has, ISP said.