Illegal fireworks cache found
A 52-year-old Alta Sierra man was arrested Friday afternoon after reportedly having 80 pounds of bottle rockets, missiles and other illegal fireworks shipped to his home.
Kirk Shults was arrested at his Norlene Way home shortly after 2 p.m. as he signed for the delivery of the fireworks, said Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department Marshal Vern Canon.
When the fire department and officials from the Elk Grove Fire Department arrived armed with a search warrant from the Nevada County District Attorney’s office, they reportedly found an additional 120 pounds of illegal fireworks already in Shults’ garage.
Shults was arrested on suspicion of possession of illegal fireworks, possession of more than one pound of explosive powder and possession of a commercial destructive device – all felonies. He was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility and was released on $10,000 bail.
In addition to rocket- and missile-style fireworks, Shults also had mortars similar to the ones launched at official Fourth of July celebrations and M-80 and M-100 “cherry bombs,” which have been illegal in the United States for three decades.
The state’s arson bomb unit was also called to the scene, Canon said.
The fireworks have an estimated value of $1,000.
The Elk Grove Fire Department was tipped to the shipment by the Rath Trucking company, which was bringing the shipment to Alta Sierra, Canon said. Elk Grove officials then contacted Nevada County Consolidated.
The Elk Grove and Consolidated fire departments are members of the Sacramento-Sierra Regional Arson Task Force.
Canon said Shults indicated he was planning to take some of the fireworks to the coast.
“It may be only $1,000 worth of fireworks,” Canon said, “but the potential for danger was much greater.”
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