Home CONFIRE CONFIRE: Three Arrested, 2,500 Pounds of Fireworks Seized

CONFIRE: Three Arrested, 2,500 Pounds of Fireworks Seized

by ECT

Confire fireworks1 June 2014 Confire fireworks5 June 2014

On June 26, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Fire Investigation’s Unit and Pittsburg Police Department Detectives arrested three subjects in Pittsburg on felony and misdemeanor fireworks charges.

The three arrested were:

  • Jose Francisco Hernandez, 22 of Richmond
  • Ivan Medina, 26 of Oakley
  • Luis Amado Medina, 30 of Crown Point Indiana

Along with the felony and misdemeanor charges, it includes advertising and sales of fireworks without a license, transport fireworks not registered by the CA State Fire Marshall, storage of fireworks without a permit, possession of dangerous fireworks without a permit and possession of more than 100 lbs of dangerous fireworks. The three were booked in the Martinez Detention Facility.

The arrests were the result of a joint investigation by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Fire Investigators and Pittsburg Police Detectives, investigating Craigslist postings that advertised the sale of fireworks. This effort resulted in over 2,500 lbs of dangerous illegal fireworks being recovered in Antioch.

According to Marshall, investigators were searching Craigslist ads and contacted the supplier and set up the buy. The ads were targeted to East Contra Costa County. They found all the fireworks in the vehicles as well as a storage unit  in Antioch.

Unofficially, the fireworks could reach close to 3,000 lbs in total and $100,000 in value upon completion of inventory.

Marshall said that as word got out about the bust, Craigslist ads began disappearing and being taken down.

“This type of firework attacks people from anywhere and everywhere so we would have people coming here for the purchase,” explained Marshall. “We do not know where they originated at and whether they had an additional supplier or the initial supplier.”

Marshall noted that a lot of times, people will drive to the State of Nevada where these types of fireworks are legal and just drive them back in a truck similar to what was seen here today.

Marshall called it “huge” to get these fireworks off the streets in East Contra Costa County with the dry conditions.

“It’s a good reminder for people not to use the illegal fireworks. We are already stretched thin on the 4th of July and to have illegal fireworks confiscated hopefully will put a dent. Unfortunately the Pittsburg, Bay Point and Antioch areas are the wost for illegal fireworks in the County,” said Marshall. “Any little bit will help.”

“The removal of this amount of fireworks will put a small dent in the use of illegal fireworks,” said Robert Marshall, Fire Marshal for Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “We are especially concerned with the use of illegal fireworks in light of the dry conditions this year. We traditionally have a lot of fires in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July Holiday. We expect this to be a bad year as it is. We do not need fireworks like these on the streets.”

Marshall stated that if people want to see fireworks, consider attending 1 of 7 professional shows in the County on July 4 or July 5 and not to partake in the illegals.

Marshall says that upon a completion of inventory, the estimated value could be more than $100,000 in fireworks.

Contra Costa County Fire reminds people that fireworks are illegal in most of the Bay Area. If you want to find out if fireworks are legal in your city, please call your local fire department.

Confire fireworks6 June 2014 Confire fireworks2 June 2014

Confire fireworks3 June 2014Confire fireworks4 June 2014

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Wayne Harrison Jun 27, 2014 - 12:17 pm

Don’t even think about doing it yourselves. Join us at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds for a fun-filled day starting at 11 am and ending with a spectacular fireworks display at about 9:15 pm.

Sam Bradley Jun 27, 2014 - 5:51 pm

Good job, Con Fire and Pittsburg PD! Pittsburg will be a lot safer this 4th.

Sam Bradley

Carol Olson Jun 27, 2014 - 9:25 pm

Found in Pittsburg, yet none of them lived here!!!! Great job. Find and arrest any and all of this type of idiot. That keeps our homes safe from fires they could cause with the sale of these illegal fireworks.

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