CROWN POINT | Two Illinois men were being held Tuesday on suspicion of transporting an exotic substance through Northwest Indiana, police said.
Derald T. Pike, 28, of Bolingbrook, Ill., and Walter T. Stevenson, 31, of Chicago, were detained during a traffic stop on suspicion of drug possession and dealing, police said.
Senior Indiana State Police Trooper Fred Trammel and probation Officer Brandon Urquidi stopped a 2012 Toyota Corolla at 2:10 p.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65, two miles south of the Winamac exit in Jasper County for a traffic violation, said Sgt. Ann Wojas, state police spokeswoman.
Trammel, who became suspicious of the occupants, walked his police dog around the car. The dog, trained to smell illicit substances, alerted to the car's trunk, Wojas said.
Police found 40 pounds of khat inside the trunk, Wojas said. Khat is a plant grown in the Horn of Africa that users chew as a stimulant. The khat discovered Tuesday and has a street value of $20,000, police said.