Denver police seize fireworks, guns during bust

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DENVER (KDVR) – The Denver Police Department confiscated a large amount of fireworks and several guns during a bust in the southwest part of the city.

FOX31 was first alerted to the bust around 2 p.m. Wednesday and was the only station there as police removed dozens of boxes of illegal fireworks from a home located in the 1600 block of South Wolcott Court.

Undercover officers had been working the case for several days, according to police. A tip led officers to the home and to a man who is being described as a black market dealer. That man, who has not yet been identified, was the only person arrested.

“It’s a hazard to everybody really,” a concerned neighbor told FOX31.

Dozens of boxes of fireworks were brought to the home’s curb. One stood six feet tall. Among the fireworks were rifles and a pistol. The firearms, police said, are part of what could mean more trouble for the man under arrest.

“Because of some other crimes that were involved, it did rise to the level of a felony charge,” said DPD District 4 Commander Mark Fleecs.

Fleecs estimates the fireworks stockpile is worth up to $10,000. Police allege the fireworks were being stored to be sold.

“Depending on the markup, and the secondary sale of that, it’s probably going to be significantly more than [$10,000],” Fleecs said.

News of the arrest brought out mixed reaction in the neighborhood. Many expressed relief to see be fireworks go. But not everyone.

“I’ll tell ya, on the Fourth of July, it was a great show,” a neighbor named Kevin said. “I have a Fourth of July party just because of the show.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is involved in the case. Denver police loaded the fireworks into a trailer for the EPA to haul away.

Authorities had not announced specific charges as of late Wednesday.

This year could mark a record year for fireworks complaints in Denver, according to police. The department is assigning more officers to respond to fireworks complaints ahead of Independence Day.

There have been hundreds of complaints about fireworks in the City and County of Denver so far this month.

FOX31 has also recently reported how fireworks stores in Wyoming have seen an uptick in sales, with one store reporting nearly 95 percent of sales are to Colorado residents.

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