An Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agent and K9 are being nationally recognized for assisting in the capture of a wanted terrorist last year in Oklahoma.
It is a big deal for OBN because it is the first time they have caught a wanted terrorist and the drug he was trafficking is rarely found in our country.
The drug is known as Khat and the agency said it was the largest bust of the narcotic in 2015 in the U.S.
According to bureau spokesman Mark Woodward said Interstate 40 in Oklahoma is a common gateway for crime.
“Our close proximity to the Mexican border makes us prime real estate for drug traffickers,” Woodward said. “You just never know what you're going to run into out there. Our guys have run across everything from wanted murder suspects to people who are traveling with missing children.”
Last years traffic stop for an undercover agent and his K9 was anything but routine.
Inside the car, the dog sniffed out five pounds of Khat. The drug is similar to meth and is popular in Africa.
“It’s pretty unusual to see five pounds of Khat coming in. That’s why we suspect it was going to another group of Somalis,” Woodward said.
The driver, from Somalia, was taken to jail.
It was then discovered he was a wanted terrorist linked to the group Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate.
“There are at least six people that have been identified through the help of this traffic stop as bringing Khat into the United States and then selling it and shipping the money back to Somalia,” Woodward said.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the massacre in April 2015 at a Kenyan college.
More than 140 people were killed and at least 79 were injured.
OBN said its agents traffic stop continues to help fight the war on drugs and terrorism.
“We don’t have a lot of knowledge of where the case is right now,” Woodward said. “But the feds will try to take it as far as they can. Even possibly going back to Somalia and ultimately, possibly bringing down an entire cell group of terrorists.”
OBN would not release the name of the terrorist their agent arrested because it could hinder the federal investigation.
The bureau said another one of its agents was honored for locating three missing endangered children.
The awards were handed down by the National Criminal Enforcement Association.