by Jennifer Reyes
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Police found over 100 pounds of an illegal drug in an Antioch storage unit. It's a type of drug you may never knew existed. It's called Khat.
This seemingly harmless green leaf can help you stay alert, but it can also cause insomnia, anorexia, and increased blood pressure. That's why it's illegal here in the United States.
Undercover Narcotics Detective Sergeant Gene Donegan knows all about it.
"The war lords in Somalia, they give their soldiers Khat to keep them up and aggressive and fighting that's one of the drugs they use over there, kinda like the Japanese did in World War II with meth"
Metro detectives found 107 pounds of Khat Tuesday night in Antioch. They said it belonged to 33-year-old Osman Omer.
Police said he received shipments in boxes and put most of it in a storage unit on Murfreesboro Pike. They arrested Omer at an apartment complex off of Hickory Hollow Terrace, located less than two miles away from the storage facility.
Police said he had more than 15 pounds individually packaged for resale.
Omer was charged with with felony possession of Khat for resale. He was held in lieu of $50,000 bond.
This isn't the first time someone tried to make a profit selling Khat. Nearly 5 years ago, 300 pounds were confiscated in La Vergne. It was estimated to be worth $250,000.
"It's a cultural drug, it's not really shared among the total population so and it's much more difficult to investigate because it is a cultural drug," said Sgt. Donegan.
This is a drug that even the police department is learning to detect; it has no real distinct smell and narcotics sniffing dogs are not trained to find it.