Orange County

Police in Orange County Seize 1,500 Pounds of Illegal Fireworks

Police seized 1,500 pounds of illegal fireworks in an undercover bust stemming from a Craigslist ad, Huntington Beach police said Wednesday.

Three people were arrested in Los Angeles and Santa Ana after the illegal fireworks were sold over the internet, according to police.

"If you're paying for fireworks that explode, rise in the air, shoot flaming balls — any of those effects — those essentially are going to be illegal to possess," said Huntington Beach bomb squad investigator Craig Jensen.

Police say the Craigslist ad featuring the volatile fireworks showed pictures of what the customer would receive -- "Excalibur Canister Shells" and more — and after tracking the purchase from the ad, they busted the buyers.

"The first buy was arranged and the fireworks were located in a residence in Los Angeles. The second buy was done with two brothers and those fireworks were ultimately located in a residence in Santa Ana," Officer Jennifer Marlatt of Huntington Beach police said.

Bomb squad investigators were to examine the "Atom Bombs" and "Roman Candles" to see if the crime would qualify as a felony case.

According to authorities, if the fireworks were made in China, they might not be up to the State Fire Marshal's standard. If the box bears the State Fire Marshal's seal, it is usually safe, police said.

Residents who work with the Huntington Beach Elks Lodge said they were concerned that the sale of illegal fireworks might cut into their Fourth of July business, since they hope to raise thousands at their fireworks stand.

"I'm worried about people getting injured, that's why we sell nothing but safe and sane fireworks authorized by the State Fire Marshal," John Nielsen said. 

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