15 pounds of explosives seized in San Mateo County

Bay Area

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (BCN) — Authorities seized about 15 pounds of illegal explosives and materials used to make firecrackers, following a search of two San Mateo County locations last week.

Earlier this month, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office identified two suspects involved in making and distributing explosive devices. The suspects are 43-year-old Burlingame resident Raymond Chan and 47-year-old Daly City resident Jeffrey Bernaldez.

Detectives found the explosives and materials at two homes, located in Millbrae and unincorporated Burlingame. The materials, seized on June 25, were intended to make firecrackers, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Chan and Bernaldez were arrested on suspicion of offenses related to the possession of explosives and possession of methamphetamine, which detectives found during the arrests.

Chan and Bernaldez were booked into the San Mateo County Jail. The Sheriff’s Office Bomb Unit is investigating the possibility of pursuing additional criminal charges related to manufacturing explosives, which would be added to the possession charges.

The charges are different from charges related to possessing illegal fireworks. However, the Sheriff’s Office is working to prevent the use and sale of illegal fireworks ahead of the July 4th holiday.

It is illegal to have or sell all fireworks in unincorporated areas of San Mateo County and in Sheriff’s Office-contract cities and towns, which include Half Moon Bay, Woodside, Portola Valley, Millbrae and San Carlos. Individual cities and jurisdictions may have their own laws concerning fireworks.

To report illegal fireworks, people can call the Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency line at (650) 363-4911.

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