Merced County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by Cal-Fire Investigators executed a search warrant at 6900 blocks of W. Lawrence Court in Winton for illegal fireworks. Deputy Joseph Royel developed information about illegal fireworks being sold from the residence and collaborated with Cal-Fire by authoring a joint search warrant.

When Deputies and Cal-Fire personnel arrived at the residence, they located 789 pounds of dangerous explosives stacked in the garage next to an open flame water heater. Deputy Royel found the situation to be a significant danger to the family living in the residence and to all the families in the neighborhood. Cal-Fire explained that if one of the fireworks were to go off while in the garage, the number of explosives on-scene could have killed everyone inside and destroyed the entire city block.

Deputies and Cal-Fire confiscated the illegal fireworks and placed 35-year-old Michael Francis Yonan under arrest for violations of California Health and Safety Code 12677 – Felony Possession of dangerous fireworks and Penal Code 273(a)a – Felony Child Endangerment.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone that the only legal (Safe and Sane) fireworks are lawful to possess in the State of California. Those fireworks classified dangerous are considered explosives and can only be possessed with a license issued by the State of California.

During this 4th of July the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Cal-Fire, and many other local police and fire agencies will be conducting maximum enforcement efforts specifically looking for the use of illegal fireworks and to help keep everyone Safe and Sane during this holiday.