Store owner denies exotic drug sold in his store

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The owner of the Vollintine Market in North Memphis claimed ignorance regarding the arrests of an employee and his friend on drug charges.

Haider Mohammed and his friend Sameer Murshed were charged with selling an exotic drug called Khat from behind the counter.  Police say a loaded gun and scales were also found.

"We didn't sell it, didn't show it, police liar," said owner Mohamed Ismail.

Khat is a flowering plant native to Africa and the Middle East.  It has stimulating substances which are illegal in many countries because of potentially dangerous side-effects.

Most people who use Khat put it in their mouths like chewing tobacco.  It can also be smoked, brewed, or even sprinkled on food when dried.

Ismail told Action News 5 he had never seen it.

"I heard about it on the news," he said.  "That's it."

Officers found evidence of Khat in the store while checking the beer permit.  The owner said they simply found trash.

"They get it from the floor and talk about it's Khat and all that," said Ismail.  "What is that?"

It was enough to land the two suspects in jail on bonds of $50,000 apiece.

Both men are scheduled to be in court Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.