SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - In one week law enforcement officials seized approximately 5,000-pounds of illegal fireworks. More than 3,000-pounds of the fireworks came from one bust alone in San Leandro.
Officials arrested three people; one in Hayward, one in Newark and one in San Leandro, though they are not releasing their names yet. In the Hayward case, the suspect is a minor.
All of the illegal fireworks are now in a shipping container at a remote location in Alameda County.
"Some people have estimated this haul to be worth 30, 40, $50,000," said Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
"This mortar shoots out at high speed it hits someone and explodes it hits a child it's going to be really bad," Sgt. Kelly continued while describing one of the explosives.
SWAT assisting a gang investigations unit made the San Leandro bust. Investigators say they found an assault rifle along with the illegal fireworks at a mechanic shop motorcycle club meet-up.
The ones in Hayward were for sale on Craigslist.
"They bring the fireworks, we bring our badges and handcuffs," said Sgt. Kelly.
In Hayward, investigators found what appeared to be a fireworks laboratory. They say often fireworks are even more dangerous than the explosives the bomb squad typically handles.
"Fireworks are always sensitive to heat, shock, and friction," said Sgt. Kelly.
Once the shipping container is full the State Fire Marshall will be called in to get rid of the fireworks safely.