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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Alhambra : Explosives, Fireworks Seized

July 04, 1993

Fire investigators last week seized $10,000 worth of illegal fireworks and explosives and arrested two men and a juvenile, officials said.

In a sting operation Wednesday conducted by officials from Los Angeles County, Alhambra, South Pasadena and San Marino fire departments, 150 to 200 pounds of powerful fireworks and illegal explosives were confiscated from two Alhambra homes. The explosives included quarter sticks of dynamite, M80s and mortar-type artillery, said John Kabala, Alhambra's fire marshal.

Richard Cota, 24, of Alhambra was arrested on suspicion of felony possession and sale of illegal explosives after undercover agents purchased $300 worth of illegal firecrackers from him at the corner of Garfield Avenue and Valley Boulevard, said Kabala.

About 50 to 75 pounds of explosives were seized from Cota's home, Kabala said.

Cota, who will be arraigned July 21, was booked and released on $10,000 bail, he said.

In a separate investigation Wednesday, Michael Rojas, 27, and a 15-year-old were arrested after investigators recovered 100 pounds of illegal explosives from an Alhambra address, Kabala said.

Rojas was arraigned Thursday on felony charges of possessing illegal explosives and is being held. The youth was released to his parents.

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