“This was not a haphazard pile of stuff that someone put in a closet,” Tivin said. “This was on display and it was for sale … Unless you were licensed to do this, you had no business playing around with it. There were were no sparklers in there.”
Officers stuffed two, 15- to 20-foot trailers with as much as $300,000 worth of seized fireworks, which were illegal to possess or sell in Ohio, according to Tivin.
“It all had to be repackaged up, categorized, inventoried and transported to a different location,” he said. “We worked well into the morning.”
The sellers could face felony charges, but as of Friday afternoon, no charges had been filed, according to Tivin.
“There will be people out there who’ll think we spoiled some people’s Fourth of July,” he said. “But I like to think in terms that we saved some fingers, some hands, some eyesight, a house from burning down, a woods catching fire. That’s why we acted as quickly as we did. We viewed it as a public safety issue.”
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as the Butler County Sheriff’s bomb squad and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are assisting West Chester in the investigation.