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San Mateo County sheriff's investigation nets 15,000 pounds of illegal fireworks and $1M in cash

Original post made on Jun 28, 2021

Search warrants served last week in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Alameda counties led to the bust. San Mateo County sheriff's detectives have been pursuing the case since May.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, June 26, 2021, 9:20 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by jguislin
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 28, 2021 at 1:14 pm

jguislin is a registered user.

It's good news that the San Mateo County Sheriff confiscated more than 7 tons of illegal fireworks but the sheer volume of the fireworks recovered along with the $1million in cash confirm that we have a large-scale problem. The distribution of fireworks involves serious money and is run by groups with experience avoiding law enforcement. Individual City Police Forces lack the resources and tools to effectively address this threat.

It is also good news that some cities like Menlo Park and Redwood City are taking action, including increasing fines but this article highlights an underlying problem with this approach: "Individual cities and jurisdictions may have their own fireworks laws." My city, Palo Alto, has taken no action to enhance deterrence despite repeated requests from residents to look for solutions including tougher penalties for those convicted.

For more than a year I have been urging County Supervisor Simitian and the Palo Alto City Council to take stronger action but they have done nothing other than acknowledge that illegal fireworks pose a serious threat.

There can be no elected official unaware that we are in extraordinary drought conditions that increase the severity of the risk posed by fireworks. These risks do not stop at any city or county boundary; we need coordinated actions that address this threat on the broadest scale possible. Let's all hope that it does not require a disaster to spur our leaders to action.


Posted by YP
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 29, 2021 at 4:18 pm

YP is a registered user.

First of all the people light fireworks at all hours of the day are jerks, and they know it. I laugh when I hear some people say what we need is more "education" that fireworks are illegal and can cause fire damage and mental issues like PTSD. Give me a break...

What we need is stiffer fines. Unfortunately it's very tough to catch people that are setting off the fireworks. I would suggest focus on efforts in this article, go for the source and when you catch people selling illegal fireworks, fine them heavily or better yet through them in jail.


Posted by Dana Clarkson
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2021 at 7:16 am

Dana Clarkson is a registered user.

These fireworks are being imported from China who are the masters of making airborne and loud pyrotechnics.

After all, they discovered fire (Anthropology/Peking Man) and invented gunpowder.

Various red states. (i.e. Wyoming) still sell these kinds of fireworks legally.


Posted by Peter Christian
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 30, 2021 at 9:08 am

Peter Christian is a registered user.

Having a warehouse or garage filled with illegal fireworks also poses a major fire hazard that could wipe out an entire commercial or residential sector...duh.

Not to mention potential loss of lives.

Like the designer handbag thefts at Stanford Shopping Center, the purchasers also bear a certain responsibility as they create a profitable market for illegally aquired merchandise.


Posted by J. Goldberg
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2021 at 5:38 pm

J. Goldberg is a registered user.

There will always be big money involved when dealing in illegal goods and services.

That is why those items cost more than the regular stuff you can procure from Target, Bloomingdale's, or The Dollar Tree.

It is not rocket science.


Posted by Ben Stallworth
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2021 at 9:50 am

Ben Stallworth is a registered user.

If these delinquents enjoy the sound of thunder and illuminating the skies so much they should consider joining the armed forces where they can experience it 24/7 if deployed to a war zone.

Having served two tours in Afghanistan, my return to EPA was reminiscent of the everyday sounds my colleagues and I had to endure on a regular basis.


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