Miami-Dade Fire Rescue seizes 450 pounds of Fireworks

(MIAMI HERALD)   Two large busts on Friday cleared more than 450 pounds of powerful fireworks being sold illegally on the streets of Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.

The all-day sting, part of a weekend-long effort, netted about $25,000 in professional-grade fireworks, which in South Florida can only be sold and ignited by someone holding a permit.

Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Arnold Piedrahita Jr said the first bust of the day happened about 1:30 p.m. when department inspectors noticed a large crowd gathering around an SUV near Southwest 128th Avenue and Southwest 88th Street.

The inspectors found two men selling about $12,000 in professional-grade fireworks from their vehicle. The men did not hold licenses, according to Piedrahita Jr.

Then, about five hours later, inspectors discovered two more men selling an even-larger fireworks cache from their vehicles in the 19000 block of South Dixie Highway.

The fireworks were to be turned over to the Miami-Dade Police Department Bomb Squad for disposal, Piedrahita Jr said.

Leading up to the July 4th weekend, public safety officials throughout South Florida have been vocal about the dangers of professional-grade fireworks and have drawn attention to last New Year’s Eve, when a Cooper City father died after shooting a rocket into his leg.

According to a report released by the National Fire Protection Association in 2009, each year more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries are reported across the country.

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