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Bang! Palisades Parkway Police Find 47 Cases Of Fireworks In Speeding Van

The explosive haul. INSET: Andy Flores
The explosive haul. INSET: Andy Flores Photo Credit: IMAGES: Courtesy PALISADES INTERSTATE PARKWAY PD

ALPINE, N.J. -- The Fourth of July weekend got off to an early start for Palisades Interstate Parkway police, who seized 47 cases of fireworks and took two people into custody after stopping a speeding minivan in Alpine.

It was just past midnight on Tuesday when Officer Michael Collason clocked the Dodge Caravan doing 74 miles an hour on the southbound bound parkway near Interchange 2, Police Chief Michael Coppola said.

Collason smelled marijuana and spotted packages of fireworks in the rear of the vehicle as he interviewed the driver, 25-year-old Andy Flores of Brentwood (Suffolk County), Coppola said.

Backup Sgt. Richard Dey and Officers Travis Philhower and Michael Focarino soon arrived and assisted Collason with removing the other passengers, the chief said.

They were identified as Danny Flores, 19, of Bay Shore, Manuel Flores, 57, also of Brentwood, and a 17-year-old from Cypress, TX.

During a search, police found two joints and smoking paraphernalia along with the fireworks -- which the driver, Andy Flores, said were his, Coppola said.

The juvenile, meanwhile, claimed ownership of the marijuana cigarettes and paraphernalia, he said.

Both were taken into custody and processed at police headquarters, Coppola said. The other two passengers were released at the scene, he said.

Andy Flores was charged with fireworks possession and released pending a court hearing.

The juvenile was issued a delinquency complaint on charges of drug and drug paraphernalia possession and released to a relative.

The Bergen County Sheriff's Bomb Squad was to destroy the fireworks, the chief said.

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