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8,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized at Willowbrook home

July 2, 2012 |  7:27 am

A Willowbrook man is out on bail after deputies seized more than 8,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from his home just days before the Fourth of July.

Deputies were tipped off to a large amount of illegal and highly dangerous fireworks being stored and sold at a home in the 1600 block of East 124th Street. A search warrant was issued for the home just south of Watts on Wednesday, revealing a "stunning amount" of fireworks, according to a statement from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Century Station.

Aaron Piggee, 74, was arrested on suspicion of selling the fireworks and released on $35,000 bail.

"There are a lot of jealous people thinking I'm doing something against the system," Piggee told KTLA-TV Channel 5. "I don't think it's against the system. The United States of America... we're all a part of this country. Why is it that L.A. County can't have the real fireworks like every other state has them?"

Piggee said he has to go across the border to Nevada to get fireworks that are not legal in California. He said he only sells to adults, and he doesn't see anything wrong with what he does.

"I like to see people and kids -- and especially the kids -- happy, you know as long as they're around some safe, responsible adults," Piggee said.

Approximately 150 boxes of fireworks, including skyrockets, mortars, pyrotechnics and explosives, were found in the garage. More were found in a storage shed in the home's backyard. Officials expressed concern that the home is in a heavily populated residential area.

"If a spark had ignited these 8,000 pounds of fireworks in this populated residential area, the damage to the community would have been devastating, and possibly deadly," said Capt. Joe Gooden of the Century Station. "We are all grateful to the citizen who was concerned enough to call it in."

Earlier last week deputies also seized more than 8,000 pounds of fireworks from a storage locker in Norwalk.


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-- KTLA-TV Channel 5