San Pablo police seize thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks

SAN PABLO — Two men were arrested at a business Thursday on suspicion of several charges after officers found several thousand pounds of illegal fireworks with an estimated worth of $50,000 to $100,000, authorities said.

In a statement, police said an anonymous tip online led officers to investigate La Raza Party Supplies, 1600 Rumrill Blvd. An undercover officer bought illegal fireworks from a clerk just before 2:30 pm Thursday.

Soon after, officers served a search warrant and found what they described as several thousand pounds worth of fireworks stored around the business.

When a department-affiliated building inspector arrived and found numerous code violations in the building, including electrical hazards and unpermitted living spaces, the building housing the business was declared uninhabitable, police said.

A 53-year-old man and an 18-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of felony possession of and conspiracy to sell illegal fireworks.

“Our community recognizes the dangers of fireworks and has supported our efforts in combating this activity as all fireworks are illegal in San Pablo,” San Pablo police Chief Ron Raman said in part Thursday.

“Con Fire is pleased by the efforts of our law enforcement partners to reduce the use of illegal fireworks across the County,” Contra Costa Couny Fire Protection District assistant chief and fire marshal Chris Bachman said.

“We encourage residents to have safe Independence Day celebrations by attending approved fireworks shows.”

Officials were working with ConFire staff to recover and dispose of the fireworks in a safe manner.

Anyone may report illegal fireworks activity in San Pablo by calling the department’s non-emergency number at 510-724-1111, as well as ConFire’s hotline to report illegal fireworks at 833-885-2021.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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