A New Haven neighborhood was transformed into a crime scene after police stumble upon a home full of the same materials used in the Boston Marathon Bombings.
Jeff Chandler of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said illegal fireworks were being made at a home on Westminster Street. Police called it a massive manufacturing operation.
"The criminal overtone here would either be the manufacturer or the manufacture and illegal storage of illegal fireworks," New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said. "There's a lot in that house and a lot for investigators to go through."
Pasquale Crisio was charged with illegal possession and storage of fireworks Illegal manufacturing of explosives bomb Illegal possession of explosives.
However, police said right now, terrorism is not likely a factor in the incident.
“I don't want to get into the word bomb, that's not what we're dealing with,” Hartman said. “We're dealing with commercial grade explosives.”
The Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad and Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Emergency Response Unit along with New Haven police officers were called to the home after a domestic call on Wednesday afternoon.
When officers responded to the call, they said they found a substantial amount of fireworks material. Police said hundreds of pounds of explosives and dozens of mortars were discovered and called it "more than a typical backyard display."
"This was not stored in any sort of organized way. There are piles in virtually every room,” Hartman said.
Crews expected to be at the home for most of the day on Thursday. They are removing the explosives. Authorities were also trying to figure out if the fireworks were made at the home or if they were simply being stored there.
"This is a lived in-home. Every room, bedroom, kitchen, living room, every room is just covered in explosive materials and manufacturing materials,” Hartman said.
Authorities said the fireworks found in the home would be sold to the professionals. There were dozens or mortars with wicks placed all in the rooms of the home. There was even some loose powder laying around the home and the house was full of powder.
“These are still considered fireworks, but not the ones you'd be lighting off on the 4th of July in your backyard,” Hartman said.
Hartman said it would have been a major explosion is anything ever caught fire.
“This was a tinder box waiting to go,” Hartman said.
The New Haven Police Department has taken the lead in this incident. A search warrant was obtained by New Haven police on Wednesday and was executed on Thursday. DEEP officials said they will assist the New Haven Police Department and evaluate what materials are there and determine how to handle.
"Like once a week, just one loud bang is usually what we would hear and it would shake the house," neighbor Sumi Oldman said.
They said there is no threat to the neighborhood. After talking with neighbors, as authorities put together the pieces, from what they've seen and heard in years past, it all started to make sense.
“Big time fireworks, like you would see in New York. Loud, and they would last for an hour and a half,” New Haven resident Mike Dorio said. “In the front yard, right here.”
Crisio was also charged with risk of injury because there was a 6-year-old and 15-year-old in the home when the domestic happened on Thursday. No one was injured in the incident. A woman in the home was not charged in the fireworks bust because she is not a tenant of the home.
“I never knew their name, but there was never issues,” Dorio said. “It's pretty scary to find out what's going on now.”
There were two children in the home at the time of the incident, police said.
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