April 23, 2019
South Carolina Fireworks Company Owner Convicted and Sentenced
On April 23, 2019, in U.S. District Court, Florence, South Carolina, Eric Stajos, owner of Big Fireworks, was convicted and sentenced to 6 months’ probation for transporting fireworks into a State that prohibits their sale or use.
On June 26, 2018, a Federal grand jury indicted Stajos for conspiracy to smuggle, and smuggling hazardous materials into the United States.
Stajos allegedly conspired to illegally import several containers of fireworks into the United States between 2012 and 2015. The fireworks entered the country at the Port of Savannah, Garden City, Georgia, and an inspection revealed they were illegal. Specifically, the fireworks were not manifested on the importation documentation and did not have a valid approval from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as required. The containers were subsequently seized by Custom and Border Protection (CBP) for importation violations.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with CBP’s and PHMSA’s assistance