Riverside Merchant Cited for Selling Illegal Fireworks, Over One Ton Seized

Riverside Merchant Cited for Selling Illegal Fireworks, Over One Ton Seized

Nik Zecevic

More than a ton of mortars, rockets and other dangerous fireworks were seized from a Riverside business whose operator was cited for selling illegal fireworks, authorities said Wednesday.

A team of firefighters and police officers seized more than 2,500 pounds of illegal and dangerous fireworks about 2 p.m. Tuesday from a business park at 2023 Chicago Ave., Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback said.

Sent to the location following a tip, the officers and firefighters inspected the business and found “many empty boxes with markings to show they once contained illegal fireworks, but also observed a large amount inside the warehouse area,” Railsback said.

The business is alleged to have provided illegal fireworks to social media influencers who helped promote the fireworks, Railsback said. An influencer is a social media user with a large audience who can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

The business owner was cited for violating local ordinances, Railsback said. Detectives were investigating to determine if criminal charges were in order, he said.

“The main thing is seizing it (illegal fireworks) so it is no longer out there,” Railsback said.

All fireworks are illegal in Riverside.

Railsback said he did not know the name of the operator or business.