by: Minna Sugimoto
(KHNL) - A Whitmore Village man is accused of putting his family and neighbors in harm's way by selling illegal fireworks out of his home. Honolulu police say tips from the community triggered an investigation that led to a big seizure of aerial fireworks Tuesday night.
Are you ready to rumble? A box of "123 Rumble" fireworks will cost you $350. "Boom, Boom, Boom" and "Double Explosion" fireworks go for $150 to $175 per box. Quite the business, investigators say, for 32-year-old Chad Gemeno.
"The person was selling to individuals out on the street," Capt. Ed Nishi, Honolulu Police Department, said. "So our people did go there, investigate, and found that there was probable cause for a search warrant."
With their warrant, officers stormed Gemeno's house on Circle Makai Street Tuesday night. Neighbor Consolacion Villena saw the commotion when she returned home.
"Two policemen and three not in uniform," she said.
"What did you think?" this reporter asked.
"Oh, maybe something I don't know," Villena said, not knowing much about her neighbor.
Except for the used fireworks wrapper on the front lawn, the house looks like any other. But inside, police say they hit the jackpot, recovering 140 pounds of illegal aerials.
"All of these items are highly flammable," Nishi said. "Should they go off, you know, it may result in a fire that may destroy the home and adjoining homes as well."
Police say they also stumbled upon some $30,000 worth of marijuana, as well as a 12-gauge shotgun. The 85-year-old Villena says what officers found scares her.
"I worry about that because we are near each other," she said.