- Sunday July 1st, 2012 :: 09:15 a.m. PDT
8,000 Pounds of Illegal Dangerous Fireworks, Guns, & Cash Recovered from Willowbrook Home. LASD
(Photos - Click on the hyperlink at the bottom of this message)
Deputies from the Century Sheriff's Station Willowbrook Team received information that illegal and highly dangerous fireworks were being stored and sold from a home in a heavily populated residential neighborhood in Willowbrook in unincorporated South Los Angeles.
Deputies obtained additional information and obtained a search warrant for the home on the 1600 block of East 124th Street, Willowbrook.
On June 27, 2012, at about 5:40PM, Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies executed the search warrant at the home.
Deputies found a stunning amount of illegal and highly dangerous fireworks at the home, including approximately 150 boxes of illegal fireworks from the garage. Additional illegal fireworks were located in a storage shed located in the rear yard of the residence.
The fireworks recovered consisted of skyrockets, morters, pyrotechnics, and explosives. Descriptions on the boxed included phrases such as "Warning, Shoots Flaming Balls," and included names such as "Eye Peeler," "Triple Break Magnum Shells," Give Me Attitude," and "King of Pyro."
Deputies also recovered guns including two revolvers, one semi-automatic handgun, one bolt action rifle, and approximately $10,000.00 in U.S. currency.
One woman and four men, including the primary suspect, 71-year old resident Aaron Piggee, were detained.
Sheriff's Arson / Explosives investigators were immediately notified of the fireworks seizure, and the Los Angeles County Fire Marshal responded to the location in order to transport and dispose of the illegal and dangerous fireworks. The weight of the fireworks was estimated at about 8,000 pounds and a street value of over $20,000.00.
"If a spark had ignited these 8,000 pounds of fireworks in this populated residential area, the damage to the community would have been devastating, and possibly deadly," said Captain Joe Gooden, LASD Century Sheriff's Station. "We are all grateful to the citizen who was concerned enough to call it in."
Suspect Piggee was arrested for several offenses including possession of an explosive device, selling fireworks without a proper permit, and possession of a loaded unregistered firearm. He was later transported to and booked at the LASD Century Regional Detention Facility.
The four other people who were detained at the house were later released after determining they had no criminal involvement.
This was the second major seizure of illegal dangerous fireworks by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department this week. The link below describes the seizure in Norwalk on Tuesday.
8,000 Pounds Of Commercial Grade Illegal Fireworks Won't Be Hitting L.A. Streets (Norwalk, June 26, 2012)
There are wonderful fireworks shows available throughout Los Angeles County that are "Safe and Sane." Below is a list:
Fireworks Shows in Los Angeles County
Members of the public are reminded about the seriousness of possessing illegal fireworks and are encouraged to report such activity to their local law enforcement agency. If you have any information about illegal fireworks, or any crime, please contact your local Sheriff's Station. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
Lieutenant Victor Clay
Century Sheriff's Station
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Captain Mike Parker
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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
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Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
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