Lansdowne man accused of selling fireworks

August 14, 1996|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Investigative work by bicycle patrol police officers was credited yesterday in the arrest of a 41-year-old Lansdowne man and the confiscation of a large quantity of fireworks -- some described by authorities as potentially lethal.

The case began Thursday when Cpl. J. Andrew MacLellan and Officer William T. Ledley of the Baltimore County Police Department saw several bottle rockets flying through the air and heard several small explosions as they pedaled through the neighborhood.

"There were fireworks going off all over Lansdowne," MacLellan said, recounting how they began questioning children in Hillcrest Park to get the first leads and soon found residents who identified a house where fireworks had been sold.

On Friday, a police cadet posing as a fireworks customer visited the house and was told by a 10-year-old boy that his father sold fireworks and to come back in the evening when he would be home, police said.

Instead, police got a search warrant that was served Monday afternoon at the house in the 3200 block of Gorham Court.

They seized 1,000 fireworks pieces that included bottle rockets, skyrockets, sparkler fountains, Roman candles and launchers, and 1,010 sticks of homemade-type explosives described as 3 to 4 inches long and potentially lethal, MacLellan said.

Charles Steven Hanson was arrested and charged with illegally selling and possessing fireworks and explosives, according to police spokesman Bill Toohey. Hanson, who was released on personal recognizance, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Police put the explosives on display yesterday at the department's firing range on Dulaney Valley Road and issued a warning to the public about their danger.

"They are capable of doing serious damage to people," MacLellan said. "Any kids out there with possession of them should call the department bomb squad and they will come and pick it up, no questions asked."

Pub Date: 8/14/96

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