75 tons of illegal fireworks seized in Gardena, largest fireworks bust in California history

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Wednesday, June 26, 2024
75 tons of illegal fireworks seized in largest bust in CA history
About 75 tons, or 150,000 pounds, of illegal fireworks were seized in Gardena, and authorities are calling it the largest single seizure of its kind in California history.

GARDENA, Calif. (KABC) -- About 75 tons, or 150,000 pounds, of illegal fireworks were seized in Gardena, and authorities are calling it the largest single seizure of its kind in California history.

The fireworks bust happened Saturday morning at a commercial warehouse on Vermont Avenue near 170th Street, according to the CAL FIRE - Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Arson and Bomb Unit, which worked in collaboration with the Gardena Police Department.

Three people were arrested as a result of the operation. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office will ultimately decide if and what charges will be filed.

The arrested individuals were identified as Alejandro Rodriguez, 44, of Wilmington; Natalie Navarro, 30, of Carson; and Daniel Gudino, 25, of Wilmington.

The large stash of fireworks, which officials believe were imported from China, is the largest firework seizure in the state, authorities said during a news conference Wednesday. The second-largest happened in 2021 when 32 tons were seized in the city of L.A.

Along with the fireworks, officials say they found 2,000 illegal destructive devices and 10 pounds of bulk homemade explosives. The fireworks are estimated to have a street value between $7-10 million.

L.A. County officials are stressing the importance of fireworks safety, as well as the dangers of illegal fireworks, ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Authorities say anyone involved with illegal fireworks can face a fine of up to $50,000 and possible jail time, if convicted.