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Nearly 10K Pounds Of Illegal Fireworks Seized In San Joaquin County In May, June

RIPON (CBS13) — A San Joaquin County illegal fireworks task force seized more than 9,900 pounds of illegal fireworks and arrested more than a dozen people between the months of May and June.

Included among those illegal fireworks were 380 commercial fireworks and 540 destructive devices, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Within that two-month span, the task force also seized nine illegal firearms, including two ghost guns and a sawed-off shotgun.

guns seized
(credit: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office)
seized items
(credit: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office)
fire crackers
(credit: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office)
fire cracker
(credit: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office)
illegal fireworks
(credit: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office)
illegal fireworks
(credit: San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office)

Investigators arrested 17 people and referred 16 other cases to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office for review.

The sheriff's office said nearly 500 pounds of those fireworks were linked to a raid in Ripon that gained major attention. Video from that raid shows a mother, her 3-year-old son and her 16-year-old daughter were walked out of their home with their hands in the air as authorities conducted a search warrant.

The sheriff's office released a 16-minute video Wednesday including body cam footage of the incident which they say paints a clear picture of the case.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said they received information in late May about illegal fireworks being sold through an Instagram account and a YouTube account showing illegal fireworks.

Investigators said the person behind those accounts was a 19-year-old male suspect with addresses in Tracy and Ripon. They say a large order of fireworks was shipped from North Dakota to this Ripon home. Deputies say they did a sweep of the home once residents were out, but eventually, the family was let back in.

Body cam footage shows the family talking about the incident.

"Your brother is going to come back and they are going to arrest him. Your brother lied. He said [the fireworks] were safe and sane," the mother said to her children.

Investigators say, after they raided the Ripon home, they went to the Tracy address where the suspect was found and arrested.

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