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SHIRLEY, N.Y. -- Mohammad Sohail, owner of a c-store and deli in this Suffolk County hamlet on Long Island, is among the owners of seven stores who face civil penalties for allegedly selling illegal pipes, bongs and hookahs. The raid on his business came at the end of a day when national media reports hailed Sohail for showing mercy on a would-be robber, according to Newsday.
According to reports, Sohail is due in court later this month and faces a penalty of up to $30,000.
While the sale of pipes and bongs is legal, it becomes illegal when the store owner knowingly sells the items for the use of drugs, officials told Newsday. Authorities said that undercover investigators bought items from Sohail, and the other store owners, after making clear that they would use them for drug use.
"Maybe that was a nice thing to do at the time," said County Legislator Kate Browning of Shirley, who represents the area, referring to Sohail giving $40 and a loaf of bread to the would-be robber. "But I know who he is. I know what he was doing. No sympathy for him."
When asked late Wednesday night at his store to comment on the charges, Sohail said, "I threw everything in the garbage. I don't want it anymore."
C-store Owner Confronts Would-be Robber, Gives Handout – June 4, 2009