Long Beach police seize 1,000 pounds of fireworks; 2 men held

Long Beach police seize 1,000 pounds of illegal fireworks

Law enforcement authorities in Long Beach on Thursday said they seized more than 1,000 pounds of fireworks, an action that represented the latest in a series of crackdowns against illegal sales in Southern California.

The high-powered fireworks, which included mortars and mortar tubes, were valued at nearly $10,000, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

Police officials said the fireworks were confiscated after investigators saw an online advertisement.

As part of the crackdown, two men were taken into custody. They were identified by police as Erik Alvarado-Ramirez, 24, of Compton and Julio Flores, 25, of Pico Rivera.

In Los Angeles, authorities announced Thursday they had confiscated a ton of illegal fireworks and that criminal charges were being filed against seven vendors.

Det. Paul Robi of the Los Angeles Police Department said illegal fireworks have been responsible for powerful explosions that have caused significant damage to city structures in recent years. In one instance, he said, a house was nearly leveled when a cache of fireworks created a chain-reaction explosion.

"If one goes, they are all going to go," Robi said. "It's a tremendous hazard."

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