Several tips sent to the Doña Ana County Facebook page led to a major bust of $42,000 worth of illegal fireworks in Chaparral on Friday.
According to investigators, a fireworks stand operating under a license obtained by Mr. W Fireworks, Inc. which is located on McCombs just across the New Mexico state line had hundreds of pounds of aerial fireworks and artillery shells, which are illegal in Doña Ana County.
The anonymous tips to the county’s Facebook page led to the undercover operation on Friday, where deputies allegedly purchased the banned fireworks.
According to county ordinance, it is “illegal for any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association to possess for retail sale, sell or offer for sale at retail or possess or use” any fireworks other than permissible fireworks. Permissible fireworks include cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches or wheels.
“Essentially, any firework that leaves the ground is considered illegal,” said Doña Ana County Fire Chief Nick Hempel.
Hempel says charges are pending against the operator of the fireworks stand. The case is under review with the Third Judicial District Attorney’s office.