A giant pile of illegal fireworks is shown at Watsonville Police Department Monday. Watsonville Police spearheaded a record-breaking seizure of thousands of pounds of fireworks Wednesday evening in Royal Oaks. (Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian )

Watsonville police arrested two men on July 3 after they were found with more than 4,500 pounds of illegal fireworks.

The bust is the largest in Watsonville Police history, and the biggest on the Central Coast this year, police spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said.

Luis Martinez and Michael Anderson, were arrested for possession and sales of illegal fireworks. One of them is also facing additional felony charges for possessing a destructive device. Neither man was in custody Tuesday, jail records showed.

The fireworks were found in a gated community on Bonney Road in Royal Oaks, a rural area of North Monterey County off San Miguel Canyon Road.

The case unfolded in Watsonville after officers received information about a person selling illegal fireworks in the City. 

Watsonville Police Sgt. Javier Ayala shows an illegal mortar firework that is part of the fireworks haul. (Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian)

The fireworks does not include the additional 185 pounds seized and 40 citations issued during WPD’s maximum enforcement period, Pulido said.

It is not clear where the fireworks came from.

Meanwhile, as night fell on July 4, the skies across the Pajaro Valley exploded with an array of illegal fireworks, from bottle rockets to professional grade starbursts , mortars and massive explosions. Some residents said it was among the better displays they had seen, and others avoiding going outside entirely.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA. https://pajaronian.com/r-p-reporter-honored-by-csba/


  1. I miss the (free) fireworks shows they used to have at the fairgrounds…!

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  2. I have to say we had the greatest firework show I’ve ever seen in my life on Lawrence ave.Really enjoyed myself..

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  4. I wonder how may citations were given at Ana, Lawrence, Honeysuckle, Magnolia Streets?

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  5. I have a lot of respect for the police but this 4th was a nightmare and I didn’t feel safe at all. The fireworks started at 7:30 and the final one was at 1:30AM. They were so loud and distributing that I thought we were under attack. The Clifford area was lit up and I understand a house caught on fire. This was not fun, exciting or entertaining. can’t believe the police could not do anything. I hope next year we arrest more BEFORE the 4th.

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  6. These maga extremists and their white supremacist 4th of July celebration with illegal fireworks stressed my dog out so much that it chewed a hole in my favorite R. Kelly shirt.

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