This Fourth of July, feel free to grill as many burgers and drink as many beers as your heart desires. But know that if you decide to partake in one of the most American traditions of all — driving over state lines and returning with a trunk load of fireworks — cops all across the nation will be waiting for you more than ever.
In New York, for example, the crackdown is nearly a decade in the making, with state troopers and highway patrolmen and the good ole NYPD targeting cars with New York license plates as they head toward fireworks shops in Pennsylvania — one of the few states on the East Coast where the explosives are legal to buy and sell — around the big Independence Day push. Then comes the confiscation on the other side, road blocks and all. By July 1 of last year, NYPD officers had arrested 56 individuals, confiscated 12 cars, and made 93 seizures of fireworks. And that was only Sunday. The NYPD stores all its confiscated fireworks in the Bronx, where the bomb squad gets to have all the fun by safely blowing the whole bundle sky-high:
This year police have already busted a few smugglers, including a 20-year-old from Richmond. The would-be entrepreneur planned on selling his goods on the black market for a cool grand, before getting busted by Staten Island's crack squad of firecracker stoppers.