ALBANY— State police have launched a new effort to combat the flow of illegal fireworks into the state from Pennsylvania.
While state police said they won’t reveal specific tactics, state troopers will be highly visible along state highways and in the communities the agency patrols “aggressively enforcing New York’s fireworks laws,” said spokesman Beau Duffy.
State police have already announced several arrests, including a Mechanicville man who was pulled over for speeding on Interstate 84 in Greene County on Monday.
Matthew Zullo, 51, was charged with unlawful sale of fireworks, a misdemeanor, after troopers observed a large amount of devices in plain view on the rear seat of his vehicle — including those with the brand name “Cabin Fever.”
Troopers also made at least four arrests in Broome County, which is located on the Pennsylvania border on New York’s Southern Tier, after pulling over motorists on Interstate 81.
“Anyone thinking of traveling to Pennsylvania or any other state to purchase fireworks that are illegal in New York should be aware that the consequences include criminal charges and confiscation of the fireworks,” Duffy said.
Complaints of fireworks have ripped throughout the state this spring, prompting local authorities to scramble to take action.
The effort was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday.
“Some nights in New York City it sounds like the Wild West with all the fireworks going off,” Cuomo said. “I’ve never heard it like this before. They’re disturbing. They bother people and they are dangerous. And children, people, get hurt every year.”
State police will provide local support “as requested” by local authorities.
Schenectady police pledged to crack down on the incendiary devices at a press conference last week, announcing special patrols and urging residents to report specific addresses and shoot video if possible.
Police didn’t respond for comment on Tuesday asking how many citations have been issued, or if they have been in contact with state police.