A 31-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night in a theater parking lot where he was allegedly selling illegal fireworks.
Jimmy Nguyen was taken into custody by arson investigators with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. He was arrested on suspicion of possession and sale of illegal fireworks.
Sacramento Metro Assistant Chief Walt White said Nguyen is accused of advertising the fireworks on Craigslist, then setting up a meeting spot for the sale. He was arrested about 8 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Century Theaters on Greenback Lane near Interstate 80. In addition to fireworks confiscated from Nguyen's car, White said about 45 pounds of illegal fireworks were found at the man's residence.
Sacramento-area fire and law enforcement agencies have teamed up this year to create a safety task force to enforce a zero-tolerance policy against the use, sale and possession of illegal fireworks.
Today's illegal fireworks are high-powered and sophisticated, according to fire officials. They report that projectiles can travel up to 60 feet, easily starting fires in trees, back yards and on roofs. Although injuries can occur with all fireworks, the likelihood increases with the power of the illegal fireworks.
The basic rule for fireworks is that if it leaves the ground, sends sparks higher than 12 feet, or explodes, it is not an approved "Safe & Sane" device, according to a Fire District news release. Legal fireworks have the state fire marshal's "Safe & Sane" seal on the package.
Officials said anyone who voluntarily turns in illegal fireworks to a Sacramento Metro fire station will not be prosecuted.