San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY 222 E. Weber Ave., Room 202, Stockton, CA
P. O. Box 990, Stockton, CA 95201
T (209) 468-2400 | F (209) 465-0371
TORI VERBER SALAZAR District Attorney Scott A. Fichtner Assistant District Attorney Kristine M. Reed Assistant District Attorney James Bojko Chief Investigator
News from the Office of District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar
For Immediate Release
June 29, 2018
CONTACT: Zephanii Smith, Director of Communications
T: 209-468-2400 | E: pr.info@sjcda.org

Zero Tolerance: Enforcing Illegal Fireworks As Holiday Approaches

Selling, Transporting, or Using Illegal Fireworks is a Crime

Today, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar was joined by Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones and representatives from Manteca Police and Fire Departments in a joint press conference on the historic seizure of illegal explosives. Approximately 14,000 pounds of illegal fireworks and explosives were recovered in an undercover operation. This was a collaborative effort through the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, the Manteca Police Department and Fire Department, the Stockton Police Department and the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office. These agencies are part of a county wide task force addressing the ongoing issues related to illegal fireworks.

As the Independence Day celebrations approach, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office reminds the community of the legal consequences and dangers associated with illegal firework possession and usage. It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the "Safe and Sane" seal, as well as possess or use any fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. Law enforcement agencies in the County of San Joaquin have partnered to create an Illegal Fireworks Task Force and will be strictly enforcing the fireworks laws.

Consequences for use of illegal fireworks

If caught with illegal fireworks violators will be:

  • Cited
  • Fined up to $50,000
  • Could face jail time

Illegal fireworks include:

  • Sky rockets
  • Bottle rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Aerial shells
  • Firecrackers
  • Other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncomfortable manner

The Task Force will be patrolling neighborhoods to enforce zero tolerance against illegal fireworks. The San Joaquin County Illegal Fireworks Task Force wants to remind everyone that fireworks cause a nuisance to our residents, injuries, fires, and effect our pets and community members that suffer from PTSD. The goal of the Task Force is to help keep our community safe from injury and help prevent fires caused by illegal fireworks.

Information from the Stockton Police Department regarding today's press conference:

On June 28, 2018, Detectives from the Manteca Police Department, Stockton Police Department and San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant in the 2400 block of Country Club Blvd in Stockton. The search warrant was the culmination of an ongoing investigation into sales of illegal fireworks in the county.

Bomb Squad personnel from these agencies as well as undercover officers identified Steven Clark, age 40 from Stockton, as an individual selling illegal fireworks through an advertisement on Craigslist. Upon serving the search warrant at his residence, investigators located approximately 14,000 pounds of illegal fireworks. The fireworks included aerial mortars, Roman candles and various other types of illegal fireworks and destructive devices.

Clark was arrested for various felony charges including possession of a destructive device, possession of a destructive device near a school, advertising for illegal fireworks sales and possession of illegal fireworks for sale (in excess of 5,000 pounds). He was later booked at the San Joaquin County Jail.

Reporting Illegal Fireworks

To report illegal fireworks activity, call your local law enforcement or fire agency.

Please visit our Facebook page, @SJCDA for further information and resources.