(FOX 11) - This past week, in efforts to enforce the ban on fireworks in the City of Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department’s West Division Directed Enforcement Team (DET) conducted several investigations into the possession and sale of fireworks in Long Beach. Officers made arrests, issued multiple citations, and confiscated several thousand dollars’ worth of high-powered fireworks. Narcotics, as well as two handguns and currency were also seized.
On June 20, 2017, at approx. 2:35 p.m., officers made contact with a female subject in the 1100 block of Orange Avenue. The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Suzanna Bermudez of Long Beach, was cited for possession and sales of fireworks and several packages of fireworks were confiscated.
In one of the more significant investigations, on June 17, 2017, at approx. 8:00 p.m., officers responded to the 2600 block of Long Beach Boulevard. After making contact with the suspect selling fireworks, he was taken into custody and fireworks were confiscated. Officers subsequently responded to the suspect’s residence and confiscated a large quantity of additional fireworks, several thousand dollars of cash, a significant quantity of narcotics, and recovered a stolen handgun and ammunition (see photos above). The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Sorvath Ke of Long Beach was booked for: ex-felon in possession of a firearm, possession of fireworks, and a variety of narcotic related charges, and is being held at the Long Beach City Jail on $50,000 bail.
Also on June 17, 2017, at approx. 6:00 p.m., officers made contact with a male subject in the area of Willow Street and Cedar Avenue. The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Bryan Vasquez of Long Beach, was cited for possession and sales of fireworks. In all, eight large boxes of fireworks he was attempting to sell were confiscated from his vehicle and residence.
On June 16, 2017, at approx. 7:35 p.m., officers made contact with a male subject in the area of South Street and Cherry Avenue. The suspect, identified as 35 year-old Kevin Jackson of Lakewood, was cited for possession and sales of fireworks, and several packages of fireworks were confiscated. The suspect was ultimately arrested for an outstanding warrant for domestic violence, and was held at the Long Beach City Jail on $50,000 bail. He has since posted bond and was released.
On June 16, 2017, at approx. 10:20 a.m., officers made contact with a male subject in the area of Market Street and Orange Avenue. Several packages of fireworks were confiscated, and a handgun was located in his vehicle. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Rodrigo Velardo of Long Beach, was arrested and booked into the Long Beach City Jail for carrying a concealed weapon and possession and sales of illegal fireworks. He is being held on $10,000 bail.
The Long Beach Police Department will continue to actively enforce the laws related to illegal possession and sales of fireworks in the City of Long Beach, and encourages those celebrating the 4th of July holiday to do so in a safe and responsible manner. We are reminding residents and visitors that all fireworks, including those marked “Safe and Sane,” are illegal in the City of Long Beach. Violators may be cited and/or arrested and faced with a $1,000 fine, sentenced to jail for six months, or both. The fines and penalties may increase depending on the fireworks’ classification.
Fireworks may be voluntarily disposed of at collection bins located at all fire stations, Lifeguard Headquarters from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., located at 2100 E. Ocean Boulevard (on the west side of the Junipero Avenue lot), or any police station.