Cops Seize Fireworks Worth Thousands of Dollars in Queens Home
QUEENS — Cops seized thousands of dollars worth of illegal fireworks during a raid on a Queens home on the the eve of July 4, they said.
They found 50 boxes of assorted fireworks, two boxes of firework-making materials, eight canisters of "military grade" aluminum powder and five pounds of the explosive potassium perchlorate from the man's Astoria home and his car, the NYPD said.
George Liakas, 26, was hit with charges including two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, four counts of unlawfully dealing fireworks and assault of a police officer.
The incident marked Liakas' fourth arrest this year for dealing fireworks, a police source said. Cops did not disclose the circumstances that led to the assault charge. They estimated that the seizure was worth "several thousand dollars."
Cops first approached Liakas late Tuesday night when undercover members of the Queens Vice Squad bought $500 worth of fireworks near Hillside Avenue and Queens Boulevard, police said.
Liakas allegedly told the officers he had "a lot more fireworks" at his house. Cops obtained a warrant and raided his house, where they found the explosives and fireworks on the ground floor and in the basement, as well as in Liakas' car.
An NYPD spokesman said it was the 48th seizure of fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July, and occurred mere hours after cops arrested two men in The Bronx who they said were trying to sell $1,600 worth of fireworks via Craigslist.
All told, police said there have been 68 arrests and the confiscation of six vehicles that either held or were used to transport illegal fireworks into the city from out of state.
Thirteen of the seizures were made at vehicle checkpoints, cops said. Others came from similar "buy operations" and the execution of search warrants.