By JASON CAMPBELL
The illegal fireworks were in full effect across San Joaquin County on Wednesday night.
And that was after a multi-agency task force saturated the South County – Tracy, Lathrop, Manteca, Ripon, Escalon, and French Camp – for the three days leading up to the holiday to try and take as many off the street as possible.
The joint effort between the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, Lathrop Police Services, Manteca Police Department, Ripon Police Department, Tracy Police Department, California State Parole, the California State Fugitive Task Force and the AB109 Task Force resulted in the search of 90 residences across the South County area in the three days leading up to the holiday, as well as 105 traffic stops, and 13 subject stops.
In the end, the task force arrested 28 people, violated two parolees, wrote 53 traffic citations and issued four misdemeanor citations.
In addition to a large quantity of illegal fireworks that were confiscated, the task force also took three guns off of the street — one of which was stolen — and recovered one vehicle.
And this was a hands-on operation.
Acting Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann launched the dragnet on Monday and was joined on Tuesday by Sheriff Pat Withrow as well as other brass from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Biedermann, the effort reiterated that “Independence and freedom should be celebrated safely” and the task force aimed at taking people that could potentially jeopardize that public safety off of the street before problems arose.