Juvenile Detained for Illegal Fireworks

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Authorities detained a Newport Beach teenager and seized 51 pounds of illegal fireworks over the weekend, officials announced Monday.

Newport Beach Police Department detained and booked a 15-year-old male for possession of illegal fireworks on Sunday after finding the explosives at two residences on King’s Road and Residencia. He was later released to the custody of his parents.

“A seizure of this size is significant,” said NBPD spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella in an email.

An M-80, M-1000, and M-5000 explosive devices are pictured in the Craigslist listing photo. Photo credit: Courtesy Newport Beach Police Department
An M-80, M-1000, and M-5000 explosive devices are pictured in the Craigslist listing photo.
Photo credit: Courtesy Newport Beach Police Department

Authorities were led to the Newport Beach home after the Los Angeles County Fire Department Arson Unit arrested an illegal fireworks manufacturer in Glendora, Manzella wrote in a statement released on Monday.

A subsequent investigation lead them to a Craigslist ad showing similar illegal fireworks for sale in the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area, the press release states.

“Undercover personnel from LACoFD contacted the seller and arranged a meeting for a ‘buy-and-bust’ operation,” it reads.

“Within hours, these public safety agencies seized over 51 pounds of illegal fireworks from a residence on King’s Road. Further investigation also uncovered additional destructive explosive devices, which were seized from a home on Residencia,” the statement explains.

The confiscated explosives included two M-80s, four M-1000s, and 20 M-5000s. These illegal explosive devices are extremely dangerous, she continued.

“A single M-1000 can be lethal, so the combined destructive power of 20 M-5000s is enormous,” she explained.

M-80s are usually 5/8 inches in diameter and loaded with approximately 3 grams of explosive mixture, according to a fact sheet from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. An M-80 can cause damage to fingers, hands, and eyes.

M-1000s (also known as “quarter sticks”), are usually 1 1/2 inches in diameter and loaded with 25-30 grams of explosive mixture, according to the ATF fact sheet. The M-1000’s risk factor is listed as “extremely severe injuries to body, has caused death.”

M-5000s (also known as “half sticks”), are much larger and more destructive and are extremely dangerous, the ATF warns.

LA county authorities are investigating the case, which may be forwarded to the appropriate Juvenile Probation department in LA County or Orange County for the filing of charges, Manzella explained in an email.

The Newport Beach Fire Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Bomb Squad also supported the LACFD Arson Unit during the incident.

“This case is an example of the outstanding level of cooperation that exists between Public Safety Agencies throughout Orange County and Southern California,” Manzella wrote in the statement.

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