MOREHEAD - The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was pleasantly surprised when deputies executed a search warrant in downtown Morehead last week at a residence in which police believed they were distributing narcotic cough syrup.

Law enforcement found much more than they were looking for, including a street value of drugs worth nearly $100,000.

Sheriff Matt Sparks said about four weeks ago, a Morehead Police Department officer tipped off his office about a person of interest they may want to interview regarding the distribution of illegal drugs.

Sparks said it took about four weeks, but eventually the person of interest was developed as a source and began making purchases of liquid codeine, a prescription narcotic cough syrup.

After further investigation, a search warrant was issued at the residence in question at 930 Christian Street, Apartment 3.

During the search warrant, police found the codeine, along with about 10 pounds of medical marijuana, more than 1,000 Xanax pills, and more than $5,000 in cash. Three handguns were also located.

The marijuana was packaged and labeled as medical marijuana, and Sparks believes it was shipped via mail from California.

Some of the marijuana was in wax and oil form, along with what is known on the street as “dabs.”

Arrested on scene were Mohammed Hassen Alkhathlan, 25; Algallaf Hussain Haidar, 28; and Ali Al Redah Sihati, 23. Sparks said the three were MSU students on Visa from Saudi Arabia.

The other two arrested were Jonathan Ray Garrison, 24, and Tobias K. Jackson, 25, both of Mayslick.

The sheriff said Jackson and Garrison made the trip from Mason County to deliver the marijuana to the students.

All five were charged with trafficking more than five pounds of marijuana, a Class C felony subject to five to 10 years in prison.

Sparks said additional charges are pending after further investigation and the return of lab reports on the other drugs in the home.

A charge of trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school may also apply as the residence was near MSU’s Eagle Center were student athletes study.

The sheriff said it appears as if the men were selling the marijuana wholesale by the pound, and also in smaller amounts such as grams.

Often sold at $20 a gram, marijuana’s street value is about $9,080 per pound. Wholesale by the pound is about $2,650 if more than five pounds is purchased, according to Sparks. The total bust in marijuana would be $90,800 if sold in grams.

“We say it all the time, but we won’t tolerate the poisoning of our community with illegal drugs,” Sparks said. “We will utilize our resources to track down these drug dealers and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law to protect our citizens, our top priority.”

Sparks asks that you report any suspicious activity to his office at 784-5446. Your tip may remain anonymous.

Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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