At a Monday news conference, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar, Sheriff Steve Moore, and other law and fire officials stressed the danger and fire danger connected to illegal fireworks.
"State law prohibits the use, sale or transportation of these illegal fireworks. Law enforcement will be out in your communities looking for evidence of these crimes. They will be responding to calls, investigating and referring illegal fireworks cases to the District Attorney's office for prosecution." Verber Salazar said fines in these cases could reach the 50 thousand dollar mark, with a sentence possibility of a year in county jail.
Sheriff Moore said over a 4-day period last year, his office spent more than 14 thousand dollars in overtime, handled 288 fireworks calls and 8 of those cases went to the District Attorney's office for prosecution.
Vietnam veteran Tino Adame discussed the impact of illegal fireworks on veterans like himself who suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). "On that day, please be courteous in your neighborhood. You don't know what veteran in your neighborhood has PTSD. Myself, I take medication. That night I will try to go to sleep early. A lot of veterans will try to leave town."
San Joaquin County residents who are aware of the use of illegal fireworks are asked to report that activity to their local law enforcement agency.
"For the safety of yourself, for the safety of your family, the community, do not use, sell or transport illegal fireworks. There will be zero tolerance from the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office for these actions," said Verber Salazar.