• Business owner, employee reportedly sell illegal bath salts to juveniles


    FRAMINGHAM (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A Sudbury business owner and his employee were arraigned Wednesday for reportedly selling illegal bath salts and trafficking cocaine to juveniles from the suspect's Valero gas station.

    Ashraf Youssef, 50, of Hopkinton and Maged Askandar, 23, of Braintree, are facing numerous charges, including trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy charges.

    Youssef was ordered held on $10,000 bail, and Askandar was ordered held on $5,000 bail with the condition that they each surrender their passports.

    Authorities received information over a several month period that juveniles were purchasing bath salts at the Sudbury gas station, ingesting them, and getting sick.

    On Jan. 1, when a law banning these items went into effect, Valero continued to make these substances available for purchase.

    Authorities reportedly made an undercover purchase of "Blast" powder, commonly known as bath salts, and drug paraphernalia from Askandar who was working the counter on Jan. 8. The bath salts were reportedly laced with cocaine.

    It is alleged that Youssef, the owner of the gas station, was aware that these substances were no longer legal to sell in Massachusetts. There were also hundreds of pipes, bongs, digital scales and grinders available for sale at the store.

    The suspects are expected to appear in court Feb. 6 for a probable cause hearing.

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