Confiscated: Authorities Seize More Than 7,000 Pounds of Illegal Fireworks

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STOW, OH (WOIO) - Acting on a tip, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal, working closely with the Stow Police and Fire Departments, has confiscated more than 7,000 pounds of consumer fireworks.

The explosives were stored in violation of the Ohio Revised and Fire Codes on residential property and inside vehicles at 3500 Deidrick Road in Stow. The individual in question does not appear to have a valid shipper license, a fireworks manufacturer license or a wholesaler license for these fireworks.

The confiscated fireworks are the equivalent of approximately 1,750 pounds of high explosives.

Much of the product was stored inside the home which was inhabited by a man, his wife, two children and an elderly adult. Another section of the home was rented to a non-related adult female.

A search warrant was issued and police made entry into the home late Tuesday night. In addition to the fireworks, investigators also found evidence of illegally manufactured fireworks, unidentified loose powder, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Some of the items found will be taken to the SFM forensic laboratory for analysis.

"This amount of improperly stored explosive material in a residential neighborhood is not only illegal, it is extremely dangerous to the residents, the neighbors and the first responders," said Interim State Fire Marshal Donald C. Cooper. "One spark could have caused tragedy."

Under Ohio law, only a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler located in Ohio can sell consumer, or 1.4g, fireworks. No Internet sales are allowed. Anyone over the age of 18 may purchase these items from a licensed facility, but must sign a form certifying that the purchaser will transport the fireworks outside the state of Ohio within 48 hours.

Consumer fireworks cannot be discharged legally in the State of Ohio.

Anyone who conducted business with this individual will be subject to investigation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is being consulted for possible federal charges. Information regarding the fireworks and explosives discovered during the investigation will be provided to the prosecutor upon completion of the investigation.

A separate investigation of the other illegal items found inside the home will be conducted by Stow Police.

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