Two Middle Village men were charged Friday with the possession of illegal fireworks, and police seized a cache of the explosives with an estimated worth of $16,000, the Queens district attorney said.
Patsy Colangelo and David Bonn, both 28, who live at 64-11 70th St. in Middle Village, were arrested last week and charged last Thursday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita with reckless endangerment and unlawfully dealing with dangerous fireworks, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
The defendants were released without bail and scheduled to return to court on July 22, a DA spokeswoman said. If convicted, they could each face up to seven years in prison, the DA said.
In addition, Bonn was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, Brown said.
"Too many of our neighbors get injured or maimed each year from the improper use of fireworks," the DA said. "These devices are explosives and as such are highly dangerous when improperly stored or moved."
Brown said the explosives were being stored in a residential neighborhood, posing a fire hazard to its residents.
Detectives assigned to the city's Organized Crime Investigations unit allegedly witnessed Colangelo unloading boxes marked "fireworks" from his 2007 black Nissan Murano to his home June 25, the DA said.
Later that day, police executed a search warrant, signed by a Queens Criminal Court judge, at the home, where they recovered a large amount of fireworks and explosives allegedly strewn about the living and dining rooms, Brown said.
Police seized 11 bags of assorted fireworks, ledgers and invoices, which indicated that the defendants allegedly had purchased nearly $15,000 in fireworks and price lists for explosives, Brown said. Officers also allegedly discovered two Ziplock bags of cocaine in Bonn's dresser and six Xanax pills in a keychain, the DA said.
The NYPD's Bomb Squad inspected the retrieved fireworks and decided they were "C" class, or consumer, explosives before destroying them at an NYPD firearms range, Brown said.
The DA said the fireworks street value was approximately $16,000.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2008 Community News Group
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