SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Criminals are taking to social media to sell illegal fireworks for profit, something that police and fire investigators say is becoming a growing problem.

Illegal fireworks sales are big business. According to the state’s Fireworks Safety task force, it’s confiscated 175 tons of them in the state. That’s a street value worth millions of dollars.

Dennis Revell lays out stacks of evidence showing CBS13 how criminals are turning to the Web from Craigslist to Facebook.

“They’ve been doing it for years,” he said. “It’s gotten a little bit bolder and the problem has metastasized and grown larger.”

One advertiser asked buyers to meet him at 14th and X streets in Sacramento and honk twice if you see a parked white van. CBS13 went to the intersection, but the seller wasn’t there. Task force officials say sellers are mobile.

Revell says most of the illegal product sold in California are actually legal in many other states simply driven across the border.

In dry and drought-stricken California, the legal safe and sane fireworks are considered less of a fire hazard.

Revell says California is short on enforcement resources.

“There’s nothing stopping it,” he said.


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