More than 30 people have been arrested in New York in recent weeks as part of the city’s summer crackdown on dangerous and noisy illegal fireworks, the city’s sheriff said Tuesday.
Since the formation of the anti-illegal firework group on June 9, the coalition of law enforcement entities responsible for getting fireworks off city streets has arrested 31 people “for a variety of offenses related to illegal fireworks”, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said during Mayor Bill de Blasio daily press conference.
The arrests include those accused of reckless endangerment, parole violations and vehicle and traffic law offenses, he said.
“You can’t traffic fireworks and have unregistered vehicles,” he said. “It all starts adding up.”
According to the sheriff, the task force has made 73 fireworks confiscations, which have included anywhere from 50 to 2,000 smaller items each.
“We’re trying to target as big as loads as possible,” Fucito told The Post. “Some of these are for commercial sale. Some people claim it was for themselves.”
The anti-illegal pyrotechnic efforts comes as fireworks complaints have risen in 2021. From January to June 6 this year, New Yorkers made 2,809 fireworks-related 911 calls — an 18.4 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020, city data shows.
Additionally, 311 complaints lodged by Big Apple residents fed up by the noise of the explosives are up by a whopping 902 percent in the first half of 2021, according to the NYPD
Fireworks complaints skyrocketed during summer 2020.
On Tuesday, Fucito announced that on June 12 the NYPD seized 600 fireworks from a garage via an undercover operation, and the same day fire marshals arrested three people, and took “a large load” of fireworks, which was worth $8,400.
And in the last four days, the FDNY and sheriff banded together to arrest 10 people and took away $15,000 worth of fireworks, according to the sheriff, who added the arrests were of people part of “large trafficking operations.”
“Enjoy legal fireworks, that’s really what we’re trying to encourage you to do this year,” he said.
De Blasio touted the “big busts” in recent days and said he hoped the task force would bring a more serene summer to the Big Apple.
“We are well into now the summer in New York City. It is happening, amazing, wonderful things are happening out in the streets of our city, a sense of celebration, a sense of hope and possibility. Those are the things that are coming back in New York City, but what we do not want to come back in New York City is illegal fireworks,” he said.
“It’s not just that they are illegal, they’re dangerous, they’re disruptive, they’re noisy, they really bother people on so many levels.”
De Blasio and Fucito announced on June 9 that the 32-officer anti-illegal fireworks task force would include 12 FDNY fire marshals and 10 deputy sheriffs.
Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks.