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1,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized in Riverside

Brian Rokos

The Press-Enterprise

July 2, 2019

Two days before the Fourth of July, a Riverside city task force seized 1,000 pounds of illegal fireworks.

The joint team of police officers, firefighters and code enforcement officers, acting on a tip, inspected a location in a business park on Chicago Avenue near Spruce Street. The business was selling so-called safe-and-sane fireworks to vendors in San Bernardino County, where they are legal, said police Officer Ryan Railsback, a department spokesman.

But safe-and-sane fireworks are illegal in Riverside, and the shells and rockets that Railsback said were being given to social media influencers are illegal everywhere in the state, Railsback said. Scores of boxes of airborne fireworks with the names Poco Loco Rockets, The Fat One, Phandemonium, Here Comes Da Judge, Wolf Pack Firecrackers and Cosmic Carnival were loaded into a van to be disposed of.

Ray Mendoza, a fire investigations supervisor, said the flaming projectiles are particularly dangerous because it’s difficult to predict where they will land.

Officials were pleased to get the fireworks off the streets before July 4 celebrations. Firefighters respond to fireworks-caused blazes every year, Mendoza said.

“This is significant because we have such an issue with lighting fireworks and not taking into consideration the dangers,” Railsback said.

No one was arrested Tuesday, but investigators were still considering what charges they might recommend be brought. A person could be fined $1,000 for shooting off fireworks in the city.

Read the full story here.

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