LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City officials Wednesday announced efforts to crack down on illegal fireworks just days before the Fourth of July.
According to City Attorney Mike Feuer, no fireworks are allowed within the city limits.
Law enforcement officials are taking a zero tolerance approach, and will issue criminal charges to those who break the law.
“As we approach the Independence Day holiday, my office will continue to be resolute in prosecuting those selling dangerous and illegal fireworks,” explained Feuer. “Illegal fireworks pose a significant fire danger and a serious safety risk, especially to kids.”
If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000 and face up to one year in jail, according to Cal Fire.
Just this week, city task forces including the L.A. Department of Street Services, and L.A. Fire and Port Police confiscated 700 pounds of large sparklers, sky rockets and aerial shells from Santee Alley and East Olympic Boulevard in the downtown area.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 42-year-old Guillermo Corral was charged with three criminal counts including unlawful sale and possession of fireworks, possession of fireworks without a permit, and unlawful possession or sale of fireworks in the City of Los Angeles.
Jose Ramon Ochoa, 46, was also charged with one count of unlawful possession or sale of fireworks in the City of Los Angeles. Officers explained Ochoa allegedly sold over 200 packages of sparklers at a store located in the 1200 block of East Olympic Boulevard.
Corral and Ochoa each face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Two misdemeanor cases remain pending, and more sweeps are expected to follow prior to the holiday weekend.
City officials explained illegal fireworks can not only seriously injure a person, but can also start fires.
Around 240 people on average go to the emergency room per day with fireworks-related injuries surrounding the holiday, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
To find a public fireworks show in L.A. County, including shows happening as early as Thursday and Friday, click here.