February 22, 2017
California Man Pleads Guilty and Is Sentenced to 1 Year in Jail for Illegal Transportation of Fireworks
On February 22, 2017, Larry Becnel pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the State of California Superior Court, Los Angeles, to 1 year in county jail followed by 3 years of probation and $370 in fines for causing the transportation and possession of a destructive device. The California Health and Safety Code makes it a felony for any person to knowingly have an explosive in his or her possession.
In June 2016, a search warrant was executed, and large quantities of illegal fireworks were discovered inside a warehouse. Some of the materials had not been approved for shipment by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Becnel was arrested for possession of a destructive device. In August 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed an information charging Becnel with the illegal transportation and possession of a destructive device.
DOT-OIG participates in the Los Angeles County Fire Arson Task Force, which works to identify illegal shipments of fireworks into California. We conducted this investigation with the Los Angeles Fire Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from PHMSA.