Monday, July 4, 2016

INVESTIGATIVE: Clear Violations of Laws Regarding Fireworks and Illegal Activity In Santa Clara County, Stockton

As Santa Clara County prepares for one of the biggest celebrations of the year, many of them are looking forward to the professional display of fireworks or simply looking forward to some peace and quiet. But my two-year investigation uncovers some social media posts by various users are continuing to ignore a Santa Clara County ordinance that prohibits any kind of fireworks. Users don't need to log in to see the illegal fireworks found in social media posts, and that is what my blog is finding. Not only that, posting any illegal activities on social media can be a big mistake, as any law enforcement official can see your posts - that is, street races and sideshows in any city including both Santa Clara County and in the city of Stockton.

A video posted by Respectmost (@respectmost) on

A video posted by Respectmost (@respectmost) on

The user shown in this blog posted his picture showing that he does own a lot of fireworks, and yet he is selling his inventory in public. But he does not realize that fireworks are illegal in much of Santa Clara County, with the sole exception of safe-and-sane fireworks in Gilroy, as per the Santa Clara County website. I have uncovered for myself through many of the Instagram posts that he bought the illegal fireworks came from Red Apple Fireworks in Pahrump, Nevada. That user intentionally wanted to bring the fireworks back to San Jose so that he could attempt to light up the sky on his own terms.

Over the course of at least 14 months after the report on illegal street races in north San Jose by NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo, my investigation found a YouTube video that described the intentions that the user wanted to make before ultimately being canceled. However, the same user that formerly made that film involving illegal street races also uncovered more illegal activities, including Red Apple Fireworks. The specific Instagram post involving Red Apple Fireworks showed that he was in the shop to buy illegal fireworks and attempting to bring them back to Santa Clara County to sell or light them up at his own will, neglecting the risk of serious injuries or even death. Another of NBC Bay Area reporters, Marianne Favro, also noted that the fines in Santa Clara County starts at $350 and with possible jail time depending on the seriousness and/or possession of illegal fireworks use.

A photo posted by iLLY 🌺 (@muthasuckaimilly) on

A friend of the same user was also responsible for the actions in an illegal activity in 2015, as my investigation dug deep into the illegal activities. The poster about the meet for a film that was scheduled to meet back in March 2015 was highlighted in a report by KCRA's Melinda Meza, who Stockton Police may also be looking for those people involved shown in this post in addition to the cars that were towed in Sacramento and Modesto. My investigation then found a link between the posts for a meet that included illegal racing in San Jose to the promotion made on Instagram which included both illegal fireworks and illegal street races. But most recently, video has been surfacing on YouTube that accompanied the illegal activities since 2015, and in particular, the follow-ups to those in Stockton. Some illegal activities were most recently performed in the state of Hawaii and in San Jose at the Target store on Cottle Road.

San Jose residents do want their peace and quiet, but many residents anonymously told me that they were very disturbed by the sideshows with screeching tires. During many daytimes throughout the year, my investigation noted that the screeching tire marks were found throughout much of San Jose, from Monterey Road between San Jose and Morgan Hill to Nieman Blvd north of Silver Creek Valley Road and in other parts of San Jose. San Jose police has been trying to figure out what was going on with the illegal activities for several months, and so far, very little has been done to curb such illegal activities.

For the 4th of July weekend, many police agencies encourage residents to report illegal fireworks, such as the San Jose Police Department. As almost all of Santa Clara County is not permitted to light up any type of fireworks, law enforcement, as well as other officials, are stepping up their efforts to cite anyone with illegal fireworks - but not other illegal activities like sideshows and street racing, which is solely left up to law enforcement.

A photo posted by @higginsbuilt on

But law enforcement makes it very clear - illegal activities like sideshows and street racing are prohibited, as is fireworks in Santa Clara County. It is unknown whether law enforcement will be going after social media users for illegal activities for posting those actions publicly. And in addition, the message is very clear for everyone - avoid social media posts on illegal activities or those may end up in other people's hands, including media organizations, bloggers, and law enforcement.

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak
NOTE: The reproduction, retransmission, and other commercial use of this blog (except the social media posts) are strictly prohibited. The blogger has his own social media and is unaffiliated or connected (directly, indirectly, or financially) with any of the social media users posted for this blog.

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