06/30/2008

Denver police seize 1100 lbs. of fireworks

By David Accomazzo
Rocky Mountain News

DENVER, Colo. — Denver police said they seized between 1,200 to 1,500 pounds of fireworks Sunday from a garage in the 1100 block of South Julian Street.

Police responded to an alert from the home's security system at about 12:45 p.m. Sunday. When officers arrived at the property, they noticed the garage packed with fireworks and saw a man believed to be the homeowner's nephew inside, said Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

An officer alerted the arson unit, which seized the fireworks and carted them off in a truck.

Police arrested the homeowner when he returned to the house. Denver property records show the house belongs to James and Isabel Archuleta.

Possessing fireworks is illegal within the city of Denver and is punishable by fines and jail time.

Steven Garrod of the Denver Fire Department said the fireworks were extremely volatile and could have caused serious damage to the neighborhood.

"All it would have taken was an ignition source," Garrod said. "We have seized a danger to the community."

The Denver bomb squad will take the fireworks to an undisclosed location and destroy them, Garrod said.

One neighbor, who watched the arrest from his front lawn, said the bust came as a complete surprise. "I have never seen any disturbance like this in 30 or 40 years," he said.

Copyright 2008 Rocky Mountain News

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