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2,000+ pounds of illegal fireworks seized during Denver traffic stop

Police said the suspect was operating a covert, illegal fireworks operation out of a box truck and his home in southwest Denver.

DENVER — An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of illegal fireworks were discovered during a traffic stop in Denver on Monday, according to a Facebook post from the Denver Police Department (DPD).

Police said they had been investigating a covert, illegal fireworks distributor who had been operating out of a large box truck and his residence in southwest Denver.

A Bomb Squad and Explosive Detection Canine Team were called in to assist when the suspect was pulled over in the area of West Alameda Avenue and South Eliot Street and consented to a search of the vehicle.

As officers searched the cargo compartment of the truck, they found it contained between 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of commercial-grade fireworks, the post said. DPD said when not properly stored, that amount of fireworks is designated as hazardous waste.

Credit: Denver Police Department
Illegal fireworks.

Louis Maestas was issued tickets for possession of illegal fireworks and the illegal transportation of hazardous materials without license or placarding.

The fireworks were seized and will be disposed of, according to DPD, and the truck was impounded.

Credit: Denver Police Department
Illegal fireworks.

The incident comes as Denver and neighboring cities have seen a surge in complaints for illegal fireworks over the last week.

DPD is set to hold a 11:30 a.m. news conference Wednesday, June 24, to address the recent concerns over illegal fireworks, and offer tips on safe Fourth of July celebrations.

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