Joint investigation leads officials to an illegal drug unusual to Jackson County

Northeast Alabama

Officials with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Scottsboro Police Department stand behind seized items

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — An illegal drug long-time law enforcement officials have not come in contact with in Jackson County is surfacing and now one man is arrested and at least one more arrest is pending in connection with it.

On Friday members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, Sheriff’s Patrol Division, Scottsboro Police Department Investigations and Scottsboro Police Department Patrol Officers executed a search warrant at Collins Food Mart in Scottsboro. “Both agencies had been getting some information on this place doing some narcotics sales,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen says.

Chief Deputy Harnen says when officials got inside, they found numerous items.

“We found an enormous amount of drug paraphernalia,” Harnen says, “Bongs, pipes, synthetic urine, hiding places – what people commonly use for narcotics hiding – and we also found some green plant material which was later identified as the controlled substance Khat.”


Approximately 100 grams of the controlled substance were found. Deputies say Khat is a controlled stimulant which is grown in the Middle East and Africa.

Harnen says this is the first seizure of this substance in the Jackson County and Scottsboro area.

“Twenty-five years with the DEA and I had never seen it; of course I had heard of it,” Harnen says, “Really, it’s something you’re going to find in larger cities, you know, New York, L.A., Miami, types like that where there is a large immigrant population from the areas where it comes from.”

Ziyad Al-Dabashi of Scottsboro was charged with Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substances (Khat) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

More arrests are anticipated in this investigation.

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