SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) – Approximately 1.5 tons of illegal fireworks were confiscated in San Joaquin County in June. In just one month, arrests have been made in every city throughout the county.
The problem is so widespread, a member from the county’s special fireworks task force couldn’t point to just one area that would be considered a big problem.READ MORE: Stockton Man, Elk Grove Woman Killed In Stanislaus County Motorcycle Crash
Out of concern for his safety, a man who spoke to CBS13 asked to have his identity concealed. He says his own neighbors purchase and set off illegal fireworks.
“Especially when you don’t expect,” the man said.
Since June 1, the task force has worked undercover confiscating illegal fireworks and arresting people for selling and possessing them. The task force has also confiscated guns and drugs.
Deputy Nick Goucher with the task force says many of the fireworks look professional and may even be legal in other states but not in California.READ MORE: Dixie Fire Jumps In Size, Now 8th Largest Wildfire In California History
So how can you tell the difference if the fireworks look so similar? Deputy Goucher says legal purchases are done at fireworks stands or booths, not online, and will always have a safe and sane seal.
So far, thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks have been confiscated in San Joaquin County alone.
“There was actually a little fire in a lot next to a home near me,” said Paul McKnight.
McKnight also lives in an area prone to illegal fireworks and wonders if the task force’s work is why he’s seeing fewer illegal fireworks pop off this year.MORE NEWS: Person Dies After 2-Car Crash In Stockton
“It’s been very few, probably one or two, in three days I’ve heard lately,” he said.