Teen detained in illegal-fireworks case

A 15-year-old Newport Beach resident was detained Sunday on suspicion of attempting to sell 51 pounds of illegal explosives on Craigslist, authorities said Monday.

After the Los Angeles County Fire Department's arson unit seized illegal fireworks from a manufacturer in Glendora, authorities found similar explosives pictured in a Craigslist advertisement in the Newport Beach area, according to a news release.

L.A. County fire authorities, with the help of Newport Beach police and fire departments and the Orange County Sheriff's Departmen's bomb squad, set up an undercover "buy-and-bust" operation at the teen's home over the weekend.

Officials also seized explosive devices Sunday from a second Newport home, police said.

Authorities recovered M-80s, M-1000s — also known as quarter sticks, which are loaded with 25 to 30 grams of explosives — and M-5000s, or half sticks. Explosive materials in the illegal devices exceed the limit for common fireworks and do not meet safety or quality standards, according to information provided by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The explosives are typically extremely sensitive to heat, shock and electrostatic discharge and could cause serious injury or death, according to the ATF.

The teen was booked at the Newport Beach Police Department jail and later released to his parents.

— Hannah Fry


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