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Traffic stop yields explosive devices
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What started out as a routine traffic stop for expired registration ended up requiring the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Bomb Squad.
Shortly before 2 a.m. early Monday morning, Lathrop deputies stopped a vehicle being driven by Chad Anderson for what appeared to be expired tags. When it was learned that Anderson did not have a driver’s license, the deputy began inventorying the contents of the car as they waited for a tow truck, discovering a loaded shotgun in the process. Deputies requested permission to search a backpack that was also found in the car, and inside of it found a vial containing what is believed to be methamphetamine, nine illegal fireworks, and five homemade explosive devices.
The bomb squad was called in to determine the safety of the items that were discovered, and to assist in the subsequent investigation.
Anderson was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of carrying a loaded firearm in pubic, possession of destructive device materials, five counts of possession of a destructive device, nine counts of unlawful possession of fireworks and possession of a controlled substance.
The discovery came just one week after the San Joaquin County Illegal Fireworks Joint Task Force – a cooperative between law enforcement agencies and fire departments throughout San Joaquin County – held a media event at the Stockton Airport to demonstrate the power of illegal fireworks and the danger that they pose to the community. According to District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar, San Joaquin County will maintain a zero-tolerance position on illegal fireworks this year, and agencies throughout the area are arming themselves with stricter laws and more flexibility to ticket those discovered to be violating the ordinances.
Illegal fireworks – anything that leaves the ground or explodes – remain illegal throughout the State of California while safe-and-sane fireworks vary depending on jurisdiction.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.