10 tons of illegal fireworks seized in Pico Rivera; 2 arrested

Ten tons of illegal fireworks were seized Thursday in Pico Rivera and two people were arrested.
Ten tons of illegal fireworks were seized Thursday in Pico Rivera and two people were arrested.

Hundreds of boxes of illegal fireworks were carted off by police.

A San Gabriel Valley fireworks task force had been investigating Pico Rivera company Thomas Brothers Tube Bending at 4747 Citrus Drive for several weeks. The owner and an employee were arrested.

When authorities went to the property they discovered 10 tons of fireworks Thursday morning.

"We had stuff here in the warehouse, containers in the back, and then a couple trailers that were stacked with it, so we were just finding it all over the place," said L.A. County Fire Captain Tom Richards.

Police say word was already out on the street that this was the place to buy illegal fireworks.

"Our detectives were actually approached by several people, I think didn't realize they were detectives, attempting to buy fireworks from our detectives as they were basically dismantling this operation," said El Monte Police Lt. Christopher Williams.

The fireworks don't have a seal from the California State Fire Marshal and are not considered "Safe and Sane"-classified fireworks that are allowed in some California cities.

The fireworks confiscated are destructive and explosive devices based on their size under state law. Possessing them is a felony.

Firefighters say 95 percent of fireworks-related injuries come from these types of fireworks.

"Sometimes what they do is they hold them up against their leg like this and shoot them down a street or whatever, and it explodes out the back, and they've blown their leg off," said Fire Captain Richards.

The Fire Department said some of the fireworks may have come from Nevada, where they are legal. The street value of Thursday's haul is approximately $100,000, according to officials.

The investigation was ongoing.

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