Police say Iowa City store owner sold tobacco without license

Violation discovered during standard compliance checks

The owner of Iowa City-based Alsafa Market is facing criminal charges after police discovered hes been selling tobacco products without a license.

Iowa City officers discovered the violation during their standard tobacco compliance checks on Dec. 19, according to a criminal complaint. During those checks, Nasrel Ahmed-Ibrahim, 45, of Coralville, is accused of selling tobacco to a 17-year-old customer, according to the complaint.

It is against the law for anyone under 18 to smoke, use, possess, purchase or attempt to purchase any tobacco product.

Ahmed-Ibrahim told officers he owns Alsafa Market, 731 S. Riverside Drive, and upon further investigation, officers discovered he does not have a valid license from the Director of the Alcoholic Beverages Division to sell tobacco in Iowa, police reported.

Ahmed-Ibrahim is facing a charge of selling tobacco without a license.

Business information online for Alsafa Market lists it as a second location to Almadina Mart in Coralville. The website for that business, which advertises its second location at 731 S. Riverside Drive in Iowa City, describes the market as an African and Mediterranean specialty store that also offers a variety of hookahs and tobaccos.

Ahmed-Ibrahim does not have not have a criminal history in Iowa, according to online court records.

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