By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– While conducting a roadside enforcement, the California Department of Food & Agriculture and the California Department of Justice, stopped a Penske rental truck. When they opened the box trailer, they found approximately 4,000 lbs. of illegal and dangerous fireworks. Officials detained the male adult driver and sole occupant and called San Bernardino County Fire Investigators to respond.
Fire Investigators Tim Tate and Hector Trevino conducted the investigation and determined the Penske truck was rented out of Los Angeles and that the driver was returning from Pahrump, home of the largest provider of fireworks in Nevada.
Investigators seized the truck and fireworks. The driver was issued a citation and release. All confiscated fireworks are turned over to the State Fire Marshal’s Office for destruction. Street value of the fireworks is estimated at $10,000.
“It is not uncommon for illegal fireworks to be purchased in Pahrump and smuggled back into California,”
said Fire Marshal Mike Horton. “Each year SBCoFD investigators conduct random checkpoints in attempt to keep these dangerous fireworks from entering our county and surrounding counties. On average, approximately 40,000-60,000 lbs. of illegal fireworks are confiscated during these checkpoints.”
Under California law, most fireworks that explode, shoot into the air, or move along the ground are considered dangerous and are illegal to possess without a permit at any time. That includes firecrackers, skyrockets and “chasers” that dart along the ground in different directions. In the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County and most cities within the county, possession of any type of fireworks, including the “Safe and Sane” fireworks, are illegal. Fireworks will be confiscated and citations may be issued. In the event a fire occurs due to the unsafe use of fireworks, individuals may be criminally charged and responsible for restitution.
“See Something, Say Something”, report illegal firework activity to SBCoFD at 909-386-8400 or anonymously by calling the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME, that’s 1-800-782-7463 or visit WeTip.com.
Date/Time: May 8, 2019, 10:10 p.m.
Location: Goffs Rd/U.S. Hwy 95, approx. 15 miles West of Needles