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Alert Police Blotter: A Bright Spark.

Illegal Santa Monica Fireworks Vendor Busted In Sting Operation

Posted Jul. 10, 2014, 8:50 am

Tim Broughton / Mirror Contributor

An illegal fireworks vendor was arrested on Thursday, June 26 after the  Santa Monica Police Department conducted a successful sting operation.

In the lead-up to this day, SMPD detectives had developed information regarding an individual who was attempting to sell illicit fireworks on the popular internet mart, Craigslist.com.

The detectives decided to initiate a “sting” operation (a deceptive operation designed to catch a person committing a crime.

A typical sting will have a law-enforcement officer or cooperative member of the public play a role as criminal partner or potential victim and go along with a suspect’s actions to gather evidence of the suspect’s wrongdoing).

The detectives arranged a meeting with the suspect and a plain-clothes officer met with and attempted to purchase said fireworks from the suspect.

Shortly afterwards, as the suspect drove away, the vehicle was stopped and the officers searched the vehicle.

The officers discovered illegal mortar-style fireworks matching those in the Craigslist ads inside the vehicle.

A search warrant was also served at the suspect’s residence, which led to the recovery of additional fireworks.

This 51-year-old Los Angeles resident was arrested and charged with sale of a destructive device. Bail was set at $20,000.

Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of The Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.

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