East Palo Alto police make large fireworks bust days before July 4 celebration


More than $12,000 in illegal fireworks and explosive devices were seized on Thursday when authorities searched an East Palo Alto home as part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal distribution of fireworks, according to the East Palo Alto Police Department.

Police officers executed a search warrant at a home on Gardenia Court and confiscated more than 600 pounds of high-grade fireworks and explosive devices, similar to large barrel bombs, according to a police press release. The seized explosives had a street value of more than $12,000, police said.

The officers also located a small marijuana-growing operation at two locations in the backyard of the home, police added.

Michael Burt Fields, 54, a resident at the home was arrested and booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility for felony possession of fireworks and explosive devices.

"The use of fireworks in our community causes a variety of public safety issues. If there was a fire in this residence, the explosion and fire would have destroyed the house and likely spread to the adjacent houses causing a significant damage and jeopardized the lives of many people," Police Chief Albert Pardini said in a statement.

Members of the San Mateo Sheriff's Bomb Squad, San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force and Menlo Park Fire Protection District participated in the operation.


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17 people like this
Posted by good start
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2016 at 4:04 pm

as a resident who lives close to 101 and EPA i can tell you illegal fireworks are out of control. every night for the last 2 weeks "bombs' explode. EPA should consider heavier fines for people who use them and perhaps offer rewards to neighbors who inform the police similar to what San Jose has started doing

7 people like this
Posted by dangerous stuff
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 30, 2016 at 4:15 pm

agree with "good start" - these aren't your Daddy's fireworks like i grew up with. Essentially explosive devices are extremely loud and dangerous. Glad to see something is being done about although i'm sure there is much more of it still out there

11 people like this
Posted by Tina
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:12 pm

EVERY year the illegal fireworks & GUNFIRE are out of control. Every 4th of July our community endures a war zone. Where are the EPA police?????? I have yet to see them during any of the 4th of July "bomb"bardments. The department is NOT even close to making some sort of noticeable changes.

3 people like this
Posted by Sick and Tired of the Noise
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2016 at 10:02 pm

I am glad to hear that the police have made some progress on getting these dangerous illegal fireworks off the streets, but as I type this there are still random blasts going off, as there has been every single night since Memorial Day. I think this is the worst year yet. Fireworks are supposed to be illegal in EPA but what a joke - not only is it like armageddon on the 4th, but the month before and after we have to listen to this crap, too? Our pets are constantly stressed and terrified and it jangles my own nerves. And of course there have already been several fireworks-related brush fires. It's definitely hight time to crack down on this. We need a better way of reporting the fireworks, and the police should use shot spotter to dispatch.

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