- Mohamed Dubed Ismail, 59, of Storm Lake, Iowa, and formerly of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail, a $500 fine and three years of probation on a fifth-degree controlled substance charge for possessing khat.
He was also ordered to complete a chemical dependency evaluation and abstain from using or possessing khat. As part of a plea agreement, two misdemeanor charges for driving while impaired and open bottle were dismissed.
The charges were filed after a Willmar police officer was called to an apartment building on the city's southwest side on Nov. 2. The officer arrived to find a car parked behind a set of garages. It was not running, but had the keys in the ignition and the accessories on. A person inside the vehicle was identified as Ismail. The officer also spotted an open can of beer and a bag of a green, leafy substance in the car. Ismail failed several field sobriety tests. The officer also saw him chewing the green substance and spit it out. His mouth was stained green and he had pieces of the leaves in his teeth. His blood-alcohol level was 0.071 on a breath test. He was placed into custody and the vehicle searched. The officer found five empty beer cans and the bag of green substance.
At the jail, Ismail said the substance was "jot" or "jaraow" and indicated it was the leaves, but not the root, of the khat plant. He gave a urine sample, which was sent to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension along with a sample of the green substance. The sample showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.071 and the substance was 12.9 grams and tested positive for cathinone, a Schedule I narcotic found in khat.
- Rosa Chavez Barco, 50, of Willmar and currently in Kandiyohi County Jail, was arraigned Thursday on a felony charge of offering a forged check for allegedly depositing a man's stolen check, from the Internal Revenue Service, into her bank account.
Unconditional bail was set at $5,000 by Judge Bruce Christopherson. Her next appearance is Nov. 3.
According to the complaint, the Willmar police received information from Home State Bank on Sept. 18 that a forged check had been cashed by Barco on July 2. She had deposited a portion of the $1,200 in her account and taken some as cash. The check was from the Internal Revenue Service, which reissued the check to the rightful owner when he reported it missing.
In an interview, Barco said another man came to her home asked her to cash it and she did. She claimed she had given him her check card to get the money from the account.
Several others were interviewed and told investigators that Barco and three others spent several days in the Twin Cities over the July 4 holiday and that Barco paid for everything.