South LA explosion: Man charged with illegally transporting tons of explosives released on bond

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Bond was granted Tuesday for a South Los Angeles man charged with illegally transporting tons of explosives -- including dangerous homemade devices that were detonated by police, leading to a massive explosion that destroyed a specially designed containment vehicle and injured 17 people.

Arturo Ceja III was expected to be released from federal custody on a $25,000 bond by the end of the day, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He is expected to be arraigned on Aug. 2.

Ceja, 26, made his first appearance in federal court via video conference. He's accused of storing 32,000 pounds of commercial-grade fireworks and explosive devices at his home.

Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continue to look into the cause of the blast.

RELATED: South LA man facing federal charges after fireworks explosion
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A man was charged with illegally transporting tons of explosives he purchased in Nevada - including several that left a trail of destruction and injuries after a planned detonation went wrong in South L.A.



The Los Angeles Police Department is also looking into what happened. The department says its plan was the safest way to dispose of the explosive devices they found in the house. After the explosion, the department said all protocols were followed, and they're not sure why the vehicle came apart.

The bomb squad vehicle that was destroyed in the explosion has been removed.

Ceja was arrested Saturday by special agents with the ATF on a criminal complaint charging him with transporting explosives without a license. The charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.

He was initially arrested and booked on Wednesday on state criminal charges of possession of a destructive device and child endangerment, and was released after posting $500,000 bond Thursday. Two days later, he was taken into federal custody pending Tuesday's initial appearance before a magistrate judge in downtown L.A.

VIDEO: Terrified residents describe South LA explosion
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An explosion rocked a South L.A. neighborhood, damaging nearby homes and cars and leaving at least 17 people injured after an illegal fireworks seizure.



It's been nearly a week since the explosion rocked the South L.A. neighborhood. Most of the businesses between Adams Boulevard and 28th Street along San Pedro Street remain closed.

There are some signs that life is returning to normal in the area. A corner bakery with deep roots in the neighborhood is open. The owners told Eyewitness News moments after the explosion, neighbors ran in there to take cover.

Clean up efforts in the neighborhood continue.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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