NEW YORK — Ahead of Independence Day, the NYPD is hoping to limit a lot of the fireworks to the Macy’s celebration.
Authorities announced that they’ve seized $54,000 worth of illegal fireworks in the weeks leading up to July 4. The NYPD worked with the FDNY, the city’s Fireworks Task Force and the New York, New Jersey and Port Authority police departments.
The city made 22 separate fireworks-related arrests in June and the start of July in three separate operations. Nearly half of those arrested live in Brooklyn and five of them have at least 10 prior arrests.
“The NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau has been an integral part of a Task Force working with the Sheriff and Fire Marshals to develop information on major suppliers, interdict illegal fireworks as they come into New York City from out of state distributors, target locations where they are stored before sale — creating a hazard of fire and explosion — and the sellers who peddle illegal fireworks that result in multiple serious injuries to adults and too often children, every summer in New York City,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “These arrests and seizures to date demonstrate our focused, unrelenting commitment to that mission.”
The three operations were called Operation Roman Candle, Cyber Intelligence Unit Controlled Buy (which investigated illegal sales on CraigsList) and Field Intelligence Team Operations.
All of the individuals apprehended were males, the majority of whom were in their 20s and 30s. In terms of criminal records, the arrestees ranged from first time offenders to individuals with significant prior arrests.
While their criminal offenses varied, many previously had been arrested for violent felony offenses including eleven for weapons possession. During Operation “Roman Candle,” eight of the individuals stopped had been arrested previously for assault, including one individual who had been convicted of assaulting a police officer and another arrested for attempted murder.