Arrest made after massive explosives bust at New Haven home

New Haven police and DEEP officials on the scene of an illegal fireworks bust on Westminster Street (WTNH / George Roelofsen)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One person has been arrested on multiple charges after an investigation into illegal fireworks revealed hundreds of pounds of explosive materials found in a New Haven home Thursday.

Bomb Squads from the Connecticut State Police and New Haven Police, along with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation removed large amounts of explosives and explosive manufacturing materials from a home at 35 Westminster Street for what began as an illegal pyrotechnics investigation. DEEP sent their Emergency Response Unit (ERU) to assist police with “chemical identification at a pyrotechnics manufacturing operation.” The New Haven Fire Department was also on standby all day Thursday.

On Wednesday, police where called out to the home for a domestic dispute when officers noticed large amounts of black powder and explosive making materials. New Haven fire chief John Alston Jr., said, “Potentially could have exploded the entire block. We are talking several hundreds of pounds of black powder.”

New Haven Police Public Information Officer David Hartman said that the explosive materials found Thursday are similar to the ones use in the Boston Marathon Bombings.

Police say explosives were found in every room.  Hartman added, “Literally if you open the door to the basement you couldn’t even walk and you couldn’t even walk into the basement it’s piled up the stairway.”

Police believe the explosives were made in the home. Hartman said, “We are dealing with commercial grade explosives, but as you know that pressure cooker device used in Boston or those devices were manufactured likely similarly in a home somewhere.”

Police have taken 49-year-old Pasquale Criscio, of New Haven, into custody. He is facing multiple charges, including;

  • Illegal possession and storage of fireworks
  • Illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs
  • Illegal possession of explosives
  • Risk of injury to a minor

It is unclear if any additional arrests will take place.

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