Massive haul of illegal fireworks one part of a major Fresno crackdown

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Fresno Police arrested one man and detained another after they were caught selling illegal fireworks. The move is part of a major crackdown by both the police and fire departments.

In total, 600 pounds of illegal fireworks have been confiscated by the city’s illegal fireworks task force.

“We heard loud and clear from the citizens of Fresno that we have a problem,” said Fresno Fire’s Shane Brown. “Aerial fireworks being shot off all night long keeping people up scaring animals.”

Brown says illegal fireworks, that soar into the air, start fires very easily.

“We’ve got multiple examples of this type of stuff getting into a dry tree, the tree taking off and spreading into an attic nearby and somebody loses everything they own.”

Brown says many of the illegal fireworks are being brought in from out of state, such as Nevada, Arizona, and even Mexico. They are then re-sold online for a big profit.

“What we did with this task force was look at how do we break the supply chain? How are things getting into the city? Because we don’t sell them. There’s no store on the corner that’s selling these illegal fireworks. What we found is that online sales are a big huge problem.”

Investigators are going online – and getting tips from the public.

“We’re going to try our best to catch as many of these people as possible and we want to de-incentivize these criminals from getting this stuff out on streets.”

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