A report of a Redmond man using illegal fireworks led to his arrest and seizure of a large quantity in the garage of his home, police said Thursday. His ad offering to sell Roman candles, firecrackers, mortars and more remained on Bend’s Craigslist, along with a warning to not use them in Oregon.
“Still have plenty left. Good stuff going fast!” said the ad signed by Charles Gossett, who also listed a Website address of “Survivalops.com.”
Police were dispatched around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to the 4200 block of SW Reindeer Avenue on a report of illegal fireworks use, said Sgt. Curtis Chambers.
Based on the description of the suspect and the location, officers contacted Gossett, 31, at his home – and while there, found “a very large amount” of illegal fireworks in the garage and seized them for destruction, Chambers wrote in a news release.
Just how many fireworks is that? “It filled a pickup truck bed and the back seat of a patrol car,” the sergeant told NewsChannel 21.
Gossett was arrested by citation on one count of use, possession and sales of illegal fireworks, a Class B misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Chambers said it would be up to the district attorney's office on whether to file additional charges, as deemed appropriate.
Police investigators also learned that Gossett had been selling the illegal fireworks on the online site Craigslist, Chambers said.
The Craigslist ad lists prices ranging from $5 for Roman candles to “big packs” of firecrackers for $10 to $25, and mortars from $15 to $75 – with a “bulk discount on purchases greater than $500.”
“Fireworks must be transported to a lawful destination for use, IE out of state or Indian reservations,” the ad states. “Said fireworks cannot be discharged in accordance with city ordinance rules.”
“So in short DO NOT USE IN OREGON where they may not be permitted for use,” the ad advises.
Redmond police also responded to other illegal fireworks complaints in the city and cited two others Wednesday night for illegal fireworks use and possession.
The rest of Chambers' news release is as follows:
"The Redmond Police Department would like to remind everyone not all fireworks are legal in Oregon.
"Just because a person may be able to purchase illegal fireworks in another state or from a Tribal Reservation, does not mean they are legal to be used, possessed or resold outside of those jurisdictional boundaries.
"In Oregon, fireworks are deemed illegal if they go higher than twelve inches in the air or move along the ground more than six feet.
"The Redmond Police Department posted on our Facebook page last week examples of legal versus illegal fireworks. Use/possession/sales of illegal fireworks can lead to arrest.
"ORS also allows for parents of minor children to be held financially responsible for their children’s use of illegal fireworks, up to $5,000, for any costs associated with fire suppression as a result of illegal firework use.
"Additionally, the City of Redmond has a city ordinance prohibiting the use and possession of illegal fireworks. Persons can be issued fines for such and have their fireworks seized.
"We hope everyone has a safe Fourth of July."