Waipahu man arrested over illegal aerial fireworks
Honolulu police and federal agents arrested a Waipahu man who allegedly had purchased about 50 pounds of illegal aerial fireworks and stored them in his backyard just before New Year's Eve.
Police said the suspect, a 37-year-old man who lives on Kahuailani Street, had two 55-gallon drums filled with softball-sized commercial grade aerial fireworks, complete with electronic detonators.
Pearl City police and agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the suspect's home on Friday. They said the suspect illegally purchased about $1,500 worth of commercial-grade fireworks, which had been stolen from an Iroquois Point warehouse over the last two months.
"What was recovered was a small amount compared to what was stolen," ATF Special Agent Gordon Horiye said. "The person arrested by HPD was one of the purchasers and not one of the people involved in the actual theft."
Horiye said the Barbers Point fireworks burglaries happened between Thanksgiving and mid-December and involved three cargo van loads of illegal aerial fireworks stolen on three separate occasions.
Pearl City police Crime Reduction Unit members followed up on thefts and received information about a portion of the illegal fireworks allegedly being sold out of the suspect's home.
"These were like the aerial commercial fireworks that are shot off like by Aloha Tower, Hilton Hawaiian Village, not the type of things you could buy in the store," Horiye said. "Very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.
"The average person could injure themselves, innocent bystanders ... extremely dangerous," he said.
The only man who has been arrested in this case so far faces federal charges of possession and storage of aerial fireworks. HPD also arrested him for allegedly making his own illegal explosive devices. Two other people who were in the home were arrested by HPD for contempt of court warrants and drug offenses.
What happened to the rest of the stolen fireworks is unknown and likely will never be known Horiye said. "The rest of it has probably been shot off by now."