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UPDATED 7:05 P.M.: Undercover Sting Nabs Two Men on Drug Charges

The following arrest information was supplied by the Sudbury Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction.

The following is a press release from the Middlesex County District Attorney's office:

A Hopkinton man and a Braintree man were arraigned on charges related to distributing illegal bath salts and trafficking in cocaine, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.  

Ashraf Youssef, 50, of Hopkinton and Maged Askandar, 23, of Braintree were arraigned in Framingham District Court on trafficking in cocaine, possession of a class C substance with the intent to distribute, possession of a class B substance with intent to distribute, distribution of a class B substance, distribution of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy charges.  Framingham District Court Judge Richard Greco ordered that Youssef be held on $10,000 bail and Askandar be held on $5,000 bail with the condition that they each surrender their passports. 

The defendants’ next court date is February 6 for a probable cause hearing. 

“These are troubling allegations that a local business owner and his employee were distributing a highly dangerous substance to young people,” District Attorney Leone said.  “These defendants peddled drugs that are linked with serious health risks and exposed children in their local community to significant harm.”

According to authorities, they received information over a several month period that juveniles were purchasing bath salts at the Valero gas station in Sudbury, ingesting them and getting sick. Until recently, these items were not illegal to possess in Massachusetts.  On January 1, when a law banning these items went into effect, Valero continued to make these substances available for purchase. 

On January 8, authorities allege they made an undercover purchase of “Blast” powder, commonly known as bath salts, and drug paraphernalia from Askandar who was working the counter.  These bath salts were 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. 

These charges are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

The case was investigated by the Sudbury Police Department.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Christopher Tarrant. 

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The Sudbury Police Department has issued the following release on Tuesday's drug bust:

For some time the Sudbury Police Department had received intelligence a local business in town, Valero Convenient Store, was allegedly selling substances marketed as “bath salts” and “synthetic marijuana,” to include sales to juveniles.  Numerous avenues, through various organizations were sought in an effort to stop the sales.  All efforts were unsuccessful given the substances were, at the time, considered legal.

In September of 2012, having no other option than to request voluntary compliance in being a responsible business member of the community, officers spoke with the owner requesting he stop selling the “bath salts” and “synthetic marijuana” while explaining the possible ramifications of ingestion.  This included, among a number of incidents, a young Sudbury resident who had overdosed but fortunately recovered as well as a subject who was arrested for disorderly person who fought with police/medical personnel while trying to ensure his wellbeing.  The owner, without hesitation, indicated he would immediately stop selling the substances voluntarily.

As of January 1, 2013 the substances contained in substances marketed as “bathsalts” indeed became illegal.  Again, intelligence was received indicating the sales were continuing; to include recent information provided by the Framingham Police Department.

On the evening of January 8th, an undercover Sudbury officer entered the premises and was able to purchase both products.  Returning to the station, detectives field tested a small portion of the alleged contraband which indicated positive for both the chemicals contained in the illegal “bath salts” as well as cocaine.  The clerk, Maged Askandar (23) of 49 Nickerson Road in Braintree, MA, was subsequently arrested for the following:

  • Possession of Class B (Cocaine) w/intent to distribute
  • Possession of Class C (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone-MDPV) w/intent to distribute
  • Distribution of Class B (Cocaine)
  • Distribution of Class C (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone-MDPV)
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Laws
  • Selling Drug Paraphernalia
  • Trafficking in Cocaine

A search warrant was executed on the premises with the assistance of the METROLEC Computer Crimes Unit yielding an extensive amount of contraband and evidence.  The owner of Valero, Ashraf Youssef (50) of 243 West Main Street in Hopkinton, MA, was arrested as well for the following charges:

  • Possession of Class B (Cocaine)
  • Possession of Class C (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone-MDPV)
  • Possession of Class B (Cocaine) w/intent to distribute
  • Possession of Class C (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone-MDPV) w/intent to distribute
  • Distribution of Class B (Cocaine)
  • Distribution of Class C (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone-MDPV)
  • Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Laws
  • Selling Drug Paraphernalia
  • Trafficking in Cocaine

Askandar was held on $25,000 cash bail and Youssef was held on $75,000 cash bail.  Both were transported to Framingham District Court on the 9th for arraignment.

All other inquiries are being referred to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Press Office.

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An ongoing undercover investigation at Valero Gas by the Sudbury Police Department ended with two men being arrested on multiple drug charges Tuesday night.

Arrested was Maged Askandar, 23, of 49 Nickerson Road, Braintree. He is charged with:

  • Possession of a class B substance (cocaine) with intent to distribute.
  • Distribution of a class B substance (cocaine).
  • Possession of a class C substance (bath salts) with intent to distribute.
  • Conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws.
  • Trafficking of cocaine.

Also arrested was Ashraf A. Youssef, 50, of 243 West Main St., Hopkinton. He is charged with:

  • Possession of a class B substance (cocaine) with intent to distribute (two counts).
  • Distribution of a class B substance (cocaine).
  • Possession of a class C substance (bath salts) with intent to distribute.
  • Conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws.
  • Trafficking of cocaine.

Both men were held overnight and transported to Framingham District Court Wednesday morning for their arraignment.

Sudbury Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

TEDHAL January 09, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Great job Sudbury detectives!!! Keep up the good work; get those druggies off the street. tedhal
Sam Tyler January 09, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Just two men trying to make a living here in America. It's a shame to see these two arrested.
Armando January 09, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Here's my question: will the Valero Convenience store be featured as a Business of the Week on the Patch any time soon?
Sam Based January 10, 2013 at 03:24 PM
That life ain't easy man, hopefully when they get out they can re-up and expand yo
Devils Advocate January 11, 2013 at 03:06 AM
now thats my kind of drug store!

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