Hawai'i State News

Task force seizes large amount of illegal fireworks

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The Department of Law Enforcement is announcing the seizure of a large shipment of illegal fireworks in Honolulu.

Approximately 16 tons of illegal fireworks were seized in a shipping container late last week. Nearly all the seized fireworks were illegal aerial fireworks consisting of multi-shot “cakes” or launchers capable of firing multiple fireworks into the air in long consecutive strings of fire. The investigation into the illegal fireworks is currently ongoing. 

“The Illegal Fireworks Task Force has been working closely with the local shipping industry to stop illegal fireworks from making it into Hawaiʻi,” said Department of Law Enforcement Director Jordan Lowe.


“The strong cooperation cultivated between law enforcement and industry resulted in the interdiction of the shipping container and the recovery of the illegal fireworks. I would also like to recognize the efforts of the Honolulu Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, who provided officers and agents to assist with the recovery of the fireworks. This could not have happened without the collaborative efforts of both law enforcement and our industry partners,” said Director Lowe.

The Department of Law Enforcement is the coordinating agency for the Illegal Fireworks Task Force, which comprises state narcotics agents, deputy sheriffs, county police officers, the Department of the Attorney General, and federal agencies that include Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Since its inception approximately five months ago, the task force has been actively investigating illegal fireworks in our community and has seized more than 35,000 pounds of fireworks.   

Aerial fireworks have long been prohibited in Hawaiʻi because of the risk they pose in causing injuries or property damage. Aerial fireworks and other illegal fireworks are also a constant source of community nuisance. 


The Illegal Fireworks Task Force will continue to pursue illegal fireworks and those people who illegally traffic them. “We hope that through cooperative efforts such as this, the community may soon enjoy the peace and quiet of nighttime without the unsettling noise of illegal fireworks,” said Director Lowe. 

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