UPDATED 11:27 AM PT – Sunday, July 4, 2021
A California man is facing federal charges after 17 people were injured during an alleged fireworks explosion. Arturo Ceja, 27, was charged on Saturday with illegally transporting tons of explosives he purchased in Nevada without a license.
Reports said he was arrested by police, but posted bail before being picked up a second time by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Ceja had been allegedly storing around 32,000 pounds of fireworks and dangerous homemade devices, including more than 500 boxes of commercial-grade fireworks in his South Los Angeles home.
ATF’S National Response Team continues to process the scene in South LA. They will determine why the explosion occurred on Wednesday when @LAPDHQ bomb squad was attempting to detonate a portion of unknown explosives found in a residence storing more than 32,000 lbs of fireworks. pic.twitter.com/18edQPQWkL
— ATF Los Angeles (@LosAngelesATF) July 3, 2021
“Ceja told investigators that he bought homemade explosives constructed of cardboard paper, hobby fuse and packed with explosive flash powder, from an individual selling the devices out of the trunk of a Honda in the parking lot of the fireworks dealer in Nevada,” said a special agent with the ATF.
The blast happened last week when local police attempted to safely detonate the fireworks. Nine police officers and one federal agent were among the injured victims.
Ceja is expected to remain in custody until his federal court appearance on Tuesday.