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By Henrietta J. Burroughs         Follow East Palo Alto Today on
East Palo Alto Today                      Facebook    Twitter         Blog
June 30, 2016                        
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   Seized explosive devices
Fireworks seized in East Palo Alto    Sample of the explosive devices
home on June 30, 2016                  seized in East Palo Alto June 30, 2016

An anonymous tip about an illegal distribution of fireworks and explosive devices led the East Palo Alto police to seize over 600 pounds of high-grade fireworks and explosive devices from a home in East Palo Alto.

Operating with a search warrant and working with members of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad, the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, officers entered a home located at 3 Gardenia Court at approximately 9:49 a.m. on Thursday, June 30.

They seized the fireworks and explosive devices and also found a small marijuana grow at two locations in the rear yard of the home. Police said that the fireworks and explosive devices, which are similar to large barrel bombs, have a street value of over  $12,000.00.

Police arrested Michael Burt Fields a 54-year-old East Palo Alto residence, who lived at the location. Fields was later booked at the San Mateo County Jail for felony possession of fireworks and explosive devices.

According to East Palo Alto Police Chief Albert Pardini, "The use of fireworks in our community causes a variety of public safety issues. If there was a fire in this residence, the explosion and fire would have destroyed the house and likely spread to the adjacent houses causing a significant damage and jeopardized the lives of many people."

Thursday’s raid was the result of an on-going investigation of the initial tip the East Palo Alto police had received.

The Menlo Park Fire Department confiscated the explosives, while the bomb squad took possession of the explosive devices.

Presently, all fireworks are illegal in Atherton, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto and the sale, possession and the discharge of fireworks are all illegal. These activities constitute a misdemeanor and are a violation of local city ordinances.