Undercover Con Fire investigators seize illegal fireworks worth thousands

Undercover Con Fire investigators seize illegal fireworks worth thousands

Undercover Con Fire investigators seize illegal fireworks worth thousands
Fireworks seized in June 21, 2021, fireworks sales bust in Concord. (Photo courtesy Con Fire)

CONCORD, CA (June 22, 2021) – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District fire investigators, working undercover, have made multiple fireworks-related arrests in June. As a result, they have removed large quantities of dangerous fireworks from community streets.

Con Fire investigators have conducted the following fireworks enforcement actions in recent days:

June 11, 2021 – Multiple Locations, Pittsburg

Con Fire investigators conducted an undercover buy of illegal fireworks in the City of Pittsburg. The initial purchase lead to two additional residences in Pittsburg with several thousand dollars’ worth of fireworks confiscated at each residence. They have not released the names of those involved pending ongoing investigation.

June 15, 2021  Crestwood Drive, San Pablo

Fire investigators made a fireworks-related arrest in relation to a fireworks-caused fire on an apartment balcony in the 15000 block of Crestwood Drive, San Pablo. They arrested a 16-year-old resident of San Pablo for Fire to Inhabited Structures and Possession of Dangerous Fireworks (California Health and Safety Code.

They recovered additional fireworks of the type that caused the fire from the apartment. The juvenile’s name is not being released because of his age. They released him to his parents’ custody after the arrest. Con Fire continues to investigate this case. They will refer it to the District Attorney and Con Fire’s Youth Firesetter Program.

More arrests

June 17, 2021 – G Street at West 10th Street, Antioch

Based on an undercover buy of illegal fireworks, investigators arrested Kevin Thomas, 25, a resident of Pittsburg, on multiple charges related to the sale of fireworks without a permit. Investigators seized the fireworks intended for sale as evidence. They also identified Thomas as an active parolee. He had been recently released from the California Department of Corrections, as the result of a robbery conviction. They issued the seller a criminal citation.

June 21, 2021 – Port Chicago Highway at Bates Ave., Concord

Con Fire investigators researched and located a social media post advertising illegal fireworks for sale in Contra Costa County. Acting undercover, investigators contacted the seller and arranged a purchase. Meeting with the seller, investigators confirmed illegal fireworks were being sold.  They then arrested Thomas Daeshawn, 22, a resident of Concord, seizing 90 pounds of fireworks as evidence.

Daeshawn was on probation for a robbery conviction in Alameda County. They issued a criminal citation and Con Fire investigators will follow up with Alameda County for a possible probation violation. The seller was cited for multiple charges related to the unlawful sale, possession and transfer of dangerous fireworks without a permit.

Continuing investigations

Con Fire investigators continue to work to remove dangerous fireworks from our communities’ streets. They also seek to put those who traffic them, out of business. Residents can help them in this important public safety mission by reporting illegal fireworks sales to the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON.

Use of fireworks of any type remains illegal in Contra Costa County. Extreme drought conditions make them exceedingly dangerous. Con Fire urges anyone observing use of fireworks to report this to their local law enforcement non-emergency line and to report all fires immediately to 911.

Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit asks residents to help them fight the crime of arson across the county by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant to matter. Some of the most valuable tips come from residents unaware that what they saw might prove important to the investigation of an incident.

At 1-866-50-ARSON, residents can leave a recorded message about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish. Tips can remain anonymous, and investigators treat all tips confidentially. Fire investigators sometimes need additional information, so they encourage inclusion of name and phone number.