Modified: June 23, 2016 12:06pm
Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports that multiple sheriff units and the Buffalo Police Department collaborated on a raid of a self-storage unit Wednesday morning seizing over $75,000.00 of illegal fireworks in two separate storage lockers.
Working from an anonymous tip, detectives from the Narcotics Unit began investigating a storage unit at 1545 William Street. Upon verification of a mass quantity of illegal fireworks, a search warrant was obtained and members of the sheriff’s Bomb Squad, Special Services, and detectives discovered the arsenal.
Several dozen boxes of various fireworks and aerial display devices were discovered in two separate and large storage units. Also discovered were several partially opened and empty boxes which indicated the subject was actively selling the illegal explosives.
Sheriff’s office representatives believe this is the single largest fireworks seizure conducted by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and they further believe most of the inventory originated from Pennsylvania.
Arrested following the raid was Fred Punturiero, 55 of Buffalo. The defendant is charged with a Class E felony for illegal storage of explosives and a misdemeanor for unlawfully selling fireworks. He was later released on appearance tickets for an arraignment in Buffalo City Court.
The fireworks will be disposed of at an undisclosed, secure location later this summer.