Fireworks are still illegal in New York—which means the NYPD has been keeping busy by arresting dozens of people and seizing nearly $25,000 worth of fireworks. And, FYI, your sparklers are illegal too!
The department announced on its Facebook page, "The ongoing initiative by the NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau, which began in January, targets both black-market fireworks sellers within city limits as well as legal sellers outside the state - companies that are at least partially reliant on the many New Yorkers who make bulk purchases before turning around and heading back home."
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said, "Anyone caught using, transporting or selling illegal fireworks anywhere in New York City can be arrested, and their cars confiscated. This type of activity is not only illegal, but is extremely dangerous. Each year these endeavors regrettably result in property damage, injuries and even death."
The NYPD cited a few examples:
In one operation on June 10, NYPD investigators trailed three New York men from a popular distributor in Easton, Pa., back to Manhattan, where police stopped and consequently arrested them in Washington Heights.
Recovered inside their vehicle was an enormous Independence Day cache: 54 cases of fireworks worth approximately $10,000.
Two other Pennsylvania operations, at different dealers on June 18 and 19, resulted in three arrests in Staten Island and netted 22 cases of fireworks totaling about $7,000.
The NYPD’s provincial efforts have produced similar results.
On Monday morning, officers in the 106th Precinct executed a search warrant at a Queens’ home and charged the occupant with dealing fireworks worth more than $3,000.
Recovered inside the home were 16 boxes of “Flaming Balls,” two boxes of “Artillery Shells,” two 196-shot “Fire Candles,” nine boxes of “Battery Shots,” 11 packets of six “Roman Candles,” four packets of “Bottle Rockets,” three packets of “Firecrackers,” two “Grenade Crackers,” and other assorted fireworks.
The cops are looking for tips and offering up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those who possess or distribute fireworks. As for what the NYPD does with the fireworks, they are "destroyed" at the NYPD’s Outdoor Range in Rodman’s Neck, Bronx. Like this!
Governor Cuomo is, once again, considering legislation that would make sparklers and small novelty fireworks legal June 1 through July 5 and then again from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2 of each year. And FYI, this is what illegal fireworks in Brooklyn looked like last year: