As New Year's Eve Nears, Miami-Dade Inspectors Check Tents for Illegal Fireworks

Monday started as a routine day for Miami-Dade inspectors checking tents for illegal fireworks in advance of New Year’s Eve.

Yari Alonso said she was looking for "the ones that go up in the air."

Rockets that shoot up in the air or explode can't be sold to the general public.

Florida's fire marshal puts out an annual list of approved fireworks – basically sparklers that range from small to very large.

"Every year illegal fireworks are found. Bottle rockets, M-80 little bombs," said Emiliano Pelaez, a Miami-Dade fire inspector.

A tent at Northwest 163rd Street and 27th Avenue passed with flying colors.

Inspectors look beyond the tents, however.

"They could be selling out of the trunk of their cars so we also look for that," Pelaez explained.

At a tent on Northwest 184 Street and 68th Avenue, all the products on display checked out. But when an inspector looked inside an adjacent freight container, he found boxes and bags filled with illegal merchandise.

While the owner would not talk on camera, he told NBC 6 those fireworks were intended for wholesale and not to be sold to the public.

Nevertheless, they were confiscated by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to be destroyed. The owner was not allowed to take them away.

"Because even though he removes it from here, we don't want it to get into the hands of the public as well," said a second inspector, M.R. Rodriguez.

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