Two suburban Detroit men have been charged with drug trafficking after being caught traveling on the Ohio Turnpike in Streetsboro carrying a banned plant with stimulant-like qualities.
Mohammed Ali Ismael, 35, of Hamtramck, Mich., and Sam Faitz Ismael, 23, of Roseville, Mich., were arrested by an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper following a traffic stop near mile marker 187 on the Turnpike March 7.
A trooper stopped the duo's 2005 Lincoln sedan in the westbound lanes of the Turnpike for a lane violation just after 11 p.m. March 7. The Ismaels consented to a search of the vehicle, which revealed that both men allegedly possessed 125 grams of a plant called khat, a drug that is banned in the United States but is legal and popular in some eastern Africa countries and on the Arabian peninsula.
When chewed, khat produces an amphetamine-like high. Mohammed Ismael also allegedly possessed 11 Vicodin pills without a prescription, according to the highway patrol's Hiram post.
Troopers estimated the khat, which was packaged in three separate freezer bags in the passenger compartment, has a street value of $3,500. Another $3,325 in cash also was seized, according to the highway patrol.
Mohammed Ismael was charged with one count each of trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony, possession of drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor and a marked lanes violation, a minor misdemeanor. Sam Ismael was charged with one count each of trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs, both fourth-degree felonies.
Following their arraignments in Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna, both men were released on personal recognizance bonds pending future court dates, according to court records. Additional charges are possible once the case is presented to a Portage County grand jury.
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