Selling Nicotine and Illegal THC Vapes


In a shocking turn of events, the Westlake law department has taken legal action against Magic Flash, a store located on Center Ridge Road.

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In a shocking turn of events, the Westlake law department has taken legal action against Magic Flash, a store located on Center Ridge Road. City officials are determined to put an end to the alleged sale of nicotine and illegal THC vapes to teenagers, citing it as a major public nuisance. The case now sits with Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer O’Donnell, and the city is pushing for a preliminary injunction to temporarily close the business. Let's delve deeper into this troubling situation.

Ongoing Complaints and a Police Investigation

The decision to file a lawsuit against Magic Flash didn't come out of the blue. According to Westlake Law Director Michael Maloney, both the Westlake Police and his office have been inundated with complaints about the store selling tobacco and marijuana to underage individuals. These grievances date back several months and have persisted even as the city took legal action.

A police investigation was initiated in September following an influx of citizen complaints. Concerned parents accused the store of not only selling vape pens but also "marijuana and psychedelic drugs" to juveniles. Court records revealed that Khaled Askar, the owner of Magic Flash, allegedly used Snapchat to communicate with minors and promote the store's products.

Tracing the Sales Back to Magic Flash

In an effort to curb this illegal activity, Westlake officers stopped several juveniles who had purchased vapes and THC paraphernalia from the store. As a result, the juveniles were either charged in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court or referred to Westlake's diversion program.

Police relied on multiple sources to trace the sales back to Magic Flash. Traffic stops, tips from the community, and even a report of theft played a role in gathering evidence against the store. In one instance, a man reported his wallet stolen from the Westlake Recreation Center, and it was later discovered that a juvenile had used the stolen credit card to make a $169 purchase at Magic Flash.

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The Severity of the Situation

One troubling revelation came to light during the police's search of the store and interviews with its employees. Officers found one employee in possession of eight sealed bags of marijuana, raising further concerns about the store's practices.

Police Captain Gerald Vogel emphasized that selling prohibited merchandise to kids is a direct threat to the well-being of the city of Westlake, particularly its children. The gravity of the situation cannot be understated, especially when dealing with substances like nicotine and illegal THC vapes that pose significant health risks to young individuals.

Seeking Justice and Safeguarding the Community

In light of the alarming findings, the lawsuit filed against Magic Flash aims to address the issue head-on. City officials are resolute in their mission to protect the community, especially its vulnerable youth, from the harmful consequences of underage access to harmful substances.

The case now lies in the hands of Judge Jennifer O’Donnell, who will have the task of examining the evidence presented by both parties. A hearing date is yet to be determined, but the importance of a swift resolution cannot be emphasized enough.

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