Fort Lauderdale police seized about $100,000 of fireworks after a man refused to comply with a cease-and-desist order.
The seller, identified in a Fort Lauderdale police press release as 38-year-old Justin Driggers of Sebring, Florida, was the first such case for the department this July Fourth season.
“It was just something that the police got involved because the Fire Marshal went to this individual and gave him the order,” said Detective Tracy Figone of the Fort Lauderdale police department, “and he said, ‘Nope.’”
The incident occurred around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday at 1770 E. Sunrise Blvd. Driggers was issued a notice to appear, which is a non-physical arrest.
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Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal Jeff Lucas said the problem started on Tuesday when he was conducting routine inspections of all the pop-up firework stands that appear around July Fourth. Driggers’ stand was selling aerial fireworks, Lucas said, and anything that flies through the air and explodes is illegal to sell in seasonal canopies in Florida.
Lucas asked Driggers to remove them, but he refused.
“We probably gave him, realistically, 20 opportunities,” Lucas said.
But when he continued to refuse, police were brought in Wednesday and issued the cease-and-desist order.
For now, the stash of fireworks has been taken into evidence, Figone said. And as for what happens to it, she said that’s to be determined.
“The individual has to go in front of a judge,” Figone said, “and ultimately the judge will have the final say.”