Western NY Storage Unit Raid Nets $75k in Illegal Fireworks

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -

Law-enforcement officials say they’ve confiscated $75,000 worth of illegal fireworks during a raid of a Buffalo self-storage unit.

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard says members of the bomb squad and Buffalo police were acting on a tip when they searched the unit Wednesday. They found dozens of boxes of fireworks and aerial display devices in two units, more than they’ve ever seized at one time.

Authorities say several of the boxes were opened or empty, indicating that some of the illegal explosives have been sold.

Buffalo resident Fred Punturiero is now charged with felony illegal storage of explosives and a misdemeanor count of unlawfully selling fireworks. He didn’t immediately return a telephone message left at his home Thursday.

Officials say the fireworks will be destroyed.