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Local protest leader arrested on drug charges as result of murder investigation

Mazin Mohamedali Mug 2
Mazin Mohamedali
Mazin Mohamedali (middle)
Sammy Hamed
Sammy Hamed

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) -- A local man who organized several Black Lives Matter protests is in jail on drug charges after a teenager was shot and killed inside his apartment last month.

Court documents show Quincy Russom, 19, was shot and killed February 12 at 615 S. Governor St., No. 6. Criminal complaints list that apartment as the home of Mazin Mohamedali, 20, who was at least at one point, a leader of the Iowa Freedom Riders. It's unknown if he is still a leader of IFR.

Police arrested Sammy Hamed, 22, on February 22 for First-Degree Murder in connection to Russom's death. Records show Iowa City Police executed a search warrant just days later on February 24 at Mohamedali's apartment. It was there police found 56.13 grams of marijuana inside his closet, as well as 42.5 ecstasy pills. Investigators also found a digital scale with marijuana residue on it. Mohamedali is facing two counts of controlled substance violation and failure to affix a drug stamp, as well as one count of keeping a drug house.

An Iowa City Police captain confirmed Mohamedali's charges were the result of the ongoing murder investigation. Police wouldn't say whether Mohamedali is considered as a suspect or having any involvement in the murder, whether he was home at the time of the murder or had any connection to Hamed or Russom. Investigators also wouldn't comment on if the robbery and murder of Russom was related to the drugs that were eventually found in Mohamedali's apartment.

Mohamedali was booked into the Henry County jail on Tuesday and is currently being held there.

Mohamedali was also arrested in June 2020 for his involvement in Black Lives Matter protests in Iowa City. He was, at one time, facing six charges before pleading guilty to a simple misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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