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Astoria man busted with cache of fireworks: NYPD

Police seized 50 boxes of assorted fireworks and two boxes of firework making materials, according to the NYPD. Photo courtesy NYPD
TimesLedger Newspapers

ASTORIA — Police arrested an Astoria man last week for illegally dealing fireworks and seized loads of boxes of assorted fireworks-making materials at his home, according to the police.

The NYPD said, on July 2 at 9:45 p.m., members of the NYPD’s Queens Vice Unit purchased $500 worth of fireworks from 26-year-old George Liakas near Hillside Avenue and Queens Boulevard. During the exchange, Liakas told undercover officers that he had “a lot more fireworks” at his house.

The following day at 7:30 p.m., police secured a warrant for Liakas’ home, at 28-34 49th St., and his vehicle. That day, at 10:50 p.m., police executed the search warrant at Liakas’ home. As police observed him walking to his home, they placed him under arrest.

Police seized 50 boxes of assorted fireworks, two boxes of fireworks-making materials, eight canisters of military-grade aluminum powder and 5 pounds of potassium perchlorate. Liakas’ car, which contained assorted fireworks in the trunk, was also seized. The estimated value of the confiscated items is several thousand dollars, police said.

Liakas was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a weapon (explosive), third-degree criminal possession of a weapon (incendiary device), four counts of unlawful dealing of fireworks, reckless endangerment, assault on a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, unlawful possession of noxious matter and unlawful selling of noxious material.

This was the 48th seizure by various NYPD units in advance of the Fourth of July, resulting in a total of 68 arrests and the seizure of six vehicles either containing or used to transport illegal fireworks into New York City from out of state, police said.

Thirteen of the seizures were made at vehicle checkpoints with others as a result of buy operations and the execution of search warrants.

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