Nearly 100 boxes of illegal professional-grade fireworks, displayed supermarket-fashion inside a fan-cooled garage in the Whittier area, were confiscated Wednesday night by sheriff's deputies who arrested two men for selling the high-powered fireworks.
"That's how the whole garage was set up--there was a room specifically made for display, they had shelving and had them all in order. They had a calculator in there, invoices, the whole works," said Norwalk Sheriff's Deputy Robert Doeve. "They had it all set up nicely; they had a portable fan in there to keep the garage cool."
An anonymous tip led deputies to the cache-for-cash operation, which they said included about 90 boxes of bottle rockets, M-80s--which pack the equivalent explosive power of an eighth-stick of dynamite--bricks of firecrackers and professional-grade pyrotechnics.
Martin Alva, 68, and his nephew, Leo Cendejas, 30, were arrested and booked on one count each of suspicion of possession of illegal explosives, selling fireworks without a permit, possession of more than one pound of explosives and conspiracy, said a sheriff's spokesman.