An Oakdale man rented a U-Haul truck to buy fireworks in Pennsylvania and got caught illegally selling them when a buyer he invited to his home was an undercover officer, Suffolk police said Friday.
About $2,000 worth of fireworks was seized from the home of Kenneth Urquhart, 44, after he sold some to a Third Precinct crime section officer, police said.
“He had them in the corner of his living room,” putting his children’s lives in danger if a fire or another calamity broke out, Sgt. Rocco Baudo said.
Using the fake name “Kay,” Urquhart had advertised his cache and even Memorial Day and July Fourth packages for sale on Craigslist to buyers in the Bay Shore and Brentwood areas, police said.
He had artillery shells, big cakes, small cakes, bottle rockets and items with names like “Little Evil” and “Thunderbombs” — all legal in Pennsylvania but not in New York, police said.
When Third Precinct crime section officers contacted him to make a sale, they expected to meet at some place like a parking lot, but instead Urquhart gave them his home address, where he lives with his wife and four children, whose ages range from 2 to 17, Baudo said.
On Thursday night, Urquhart sold the undercover officer $340 worth of fireworks and threw in extra items because it was a big sale, the sergeant said.
“He was generous,” Baudo said.
That’s when the seller was busted and $2,000 worth of fireworks seized from his house, police said.
Urquhart, of Oakdale-Bohemia Road, is expected to be arraigned Friday on two misdemeanors, unlawful sale of fireworks and endangering the welfare of a child, police said. He was cited for unlawful dealing with fireworks, a violation, police said. More charges are likely, authorities said.
Police are clamping down on illegal fireworks as Fourth of July nears, and Third Precinct officers said Urquhart is not the only case on their radar.
Baudo said the Oakdale man told officers that he purchased $500 of fireworks in Pennsylvania, but police believe he came back with a full truck and had sold much of his cache despite prices that were at least double the original.
Urquhart had been laid off some years ago and could not work due to recent injuries, the sergeant said: “He was basically just trying to make a few extra bucks.”