Police seize illegal fireworks from 2 Mesa locations in past week

Jul 1, 2022, 4:05 AM

PHOENIX — Large quantities of illegal fireworks were seized by police from two different locations in Mesa over the past week, authorities said Thursday.

One of the seizures occurred at an apartment near Mesa Drive and Brown Road on Wednesday, while the other was at a liquor and smoke shop near Brown Road and Country Club Drive on June 24, the Mesa Police Department said in a press release.

The seizure on Wednesday also resulted in the arrest of a suspect who was previously convicted of several felony charges including armed robbery and carjacking, according to the probable cause statement.

George Baber, 40, was booked on misconduct involving weapons and prohibited possessor charges, as well as misdemeanor charges for the fireworks, after Mesa police said two AR-15 rifles were found along with the 1,665 packages of illegal fireworks valued at $7,755.

Detectives served a warrant after responding to an online advertisement and purchasing the prohibited fireworks, authorities said.

The other seizure resulted in 129 prohibited fireworks with a total value of $4,052 being found.

After receiving an anonymous tip, undercover detectives purchased the illegal fireworks upon seeing them displayed in the store. There were pending charges against the store owner, Mesa police said.

The Mesa Fire and Medical Department assisted with the safe storage of the seized fireworks, authorities said.

Anyone who has information regarding prohibited firework sales or use are asked to call Mesa police at 480-644-2211.

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Police seize illegal fireworks from 2 Mesa locations in past week