Police dismantling an illegal fireworks sales operation at a Pico Rivera business Thursday morning were approached by customers attempting to purchase the contraband, authorities said.
Twelve tons of the banned pyrotechnics were discovered by detectives from the El Monte Police Department inside a trailer and in storage containers at Thomas Brothers Tube Bending on the 4700 block of Citrus Drive.
Sparklers, 2 to 3 inch mortars, family packs and 500 gram kegs were some of the explosives found at the business.
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If the explosives would have gone off they could have killed nearby residents of a trailer park and passengers of a Metro rail, authorities said.
Officials first reported discovering 5 tons of firecrackers at the location, but later upped that number to 12.
Police arrested what they believe to be the business owner along with an employee on various charges.
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Detectives were tipped off about illegal firecrackers being sold out of the business and have transported them to a secure facility.
In the weeks leading up to Fourth of July, law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement of fireworks laws.
Also Thursday, Santa Ana police discovered a fireworks seller through an undercover Craigslist operation.
The illegal fireworks were confiscated from a garage at a residence in the 1100 block of West Stanford Street and the resident was cited and released.