Man accused of making potentially deadly fireworks from dynamitePosted: Updated:
Authorities say they seized a large haul of fireworks.
Douglas P. Smith, 44, of Overland Park, was charged earlier this week with the illegal sale of explosives, and possession of a controlled substance.
Charging documents said the investigation started with a sizeable seizure.
Between July 2 and July 8, authorities seized 169 quarter sticks of homemade dynamite, 23 half sticks, 23 one-pound explosive devices constructed out of beer cans, $7,660 in cash and a small amount of narcotics. According to court documents, the fireworks were found at a residence in Platte County. The resident allegedly purchased the fireworks from Smith in June.
Smith told detectives that he bought thousands of tubes to make fireworks inside his home at the Highland Park Apartment, according to court documents. He estimated that he would make up to $7,000 in profits.
Smith's unit is in a building housing 11 other units, and neighbors said it was alarming to hear such a volatile black market business was going on so close to them.
The Platte County Sheriff's Office said the bust was made in a parking lot at the Zona Rosa shopping center.
According to court documents, a confidential informant from the first bust worked with police to help capture Smith. The informant met Smith and once he gave money for fireworks to Smith, then police revealed themselves and arrested Smith.
According to court documents, a bottle containing cocaine was found inside Smith's vehicle along with a loaded .45-caliber handgun and $8,000 in cash.
"These seizures are related to an ongoing investigation into possibly related operations outside the metro area," according to the news release.
The sheriff's office said it was important to ensure that these potentially dangerous homemade explosive devices weren't on the streets during the Fourth of July weekend. According to court documents, the fireworks were capable of causing death and serious injuries.
Detectives said they seized notebooks with the names of individuals who bought fireworks from Smith, and the amount of money they owed him, according to court documents. Police have not been able to locate all those who bought the homemade fireworks, meaning dangerous devices could still be on area streets, according to court documents.
The Kansas City Police Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms assisted in the investigation.
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