Ventura County – While Independence Day is celebrated in America as the anniversary of national independence and freedom from oppressive governmental controls—albeit the day itself marked the Founding Father’s statement of rebellious contempt for the authority of the British Empire—that does not allow for freedom from the rule of legislated law.
Case in point are the circumstances surrounding the early morning June 28th arrest of Fillmore resident Alfredo Avalos, in which Ventura County Sheriff’s Department members of the Fillmore Detective Unit and Patrol, working hand in hand with the VCSD West County Investigations Bureau, the VCSD Bomb Unit,VCSD Gang Unit, and the VCSD Major Crimes Bureau enforced the law prohibiting certain varieties of fireworks enumerated as illegal in California.
It was at 7:00 a.m. on the 28th when detectives swarmed Avalos’ residence bearing a search warrant and discovered him to be in possession of “approximately 600 pounds of illegal fireworks” stashed away throughout the home in various rooms, including that of a minor child.
As noted by VCSD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Vaden, the fireworks were deemed to present “a significant threat of injury and fire, not only to the suspect’s family, but to the public, as well.” Also found in the home were an multiple rifles, one of which was unregistered.
Unique among Southern California cities, the city of Fillmore permits the sale and possession of fireworks bearing the seal of approval of the State Fire Marshall as “Safe and Sane” from June 28th through July 5th. Any other fireworks, including those that detonate upon aerial launch are illegal at all times in Fillmore and throughout California.
Later that same morning, when Avalos became aware of the search of his home and the seizure of his property, he appeared at the Fillmore Sheriff’s Substation, whereupon he was arrested and transported to Ventura County Jail and booked on charges of felony possession of an explosive, possession of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices, unlawful transfer of firearm, felony possession of assault weapon, and receiving stolen property, with his bail set at $20,000.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department