Aurora, Elgin men arrested for selling fireworks, explosives to undercover detectives
They established make-shift storefronts for explosives and illegal fireworks in their homes, and used social media to advertise their wares, police say.
Two men in the western suburbs allegedly sold commercial-grade fireworks and explosives over social media to undercover detectives working with the Kane County bomb squad.
They established make-shift storefronts for explosives and illegal fireworks in their homes, and used social media to advertise their wares, the Kane County sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Undercover detectives made several purchases from the men before obtaining search warrants that were later executed on their homes.
Angel Lopez, 19, allegedly had “quarter sticks” and “M250s,” among other illegal fireworks, in his Elgin home, the sheriff’s office said.
Lopez is charged with three counts of possession of explosives, five counts of possession of bombs or grenades and four counts of transferring explosive material without a license, all felonies.
Samuel Calderon, 25, also had commercial-grade fireworks in his Aurora home, authorities said.
Calderon faces a count of possession of explosives, three counts of possession of bombs or grenades, three counts of transferring explosive material without a license, and one misdemeanor count of endangering the safety of a child.
The sheriff’s two-week long investigation into illegal firework sales was prompted by an uptick in complaints of firework explosions, authorities said.
In Chicago, officials saw a 700% increase in fireworks complaints compared to 2019.
In his statement, Sheriff Ron Hain said the items seized were not fireworks but “dangerous explosive devices that should not be in the hands of unlicensed and untrained people.”