OLYPHANT, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Investigators arrested a couple that police say were selling homemade illegal explosives in Olyphant.
According to the Olyphant Police Department, back in May, officers were tipped that a couple was selling consumer-grade fireworks out of an abandoned store located in the 100 block of West Lackawanna Avenue.
The owner of the building, Angela Bilski, 43, and John Bilski, 56, both of Peckville, were involved in the storage and sale of the fireworks, police say.
In June, investigators stated they were tipped again that John Bilski was possibly conducting the sale of illegal explosive devices such as quarter sticks, half-stick, full sticks, and mortar shells.
As stated in the affidavit, a source went undercover for Olyphant police to make a sale to purchase explosive devices from John and Angela Bilski.
Police say the source met up with Angela, who arrived in a white SUV with her 13-year-old daughter. According to court documents, Angela then retrieved medium and large illegal explosive devices from a structure that was known as “Bilski’s office”.
Later, investigators stated they took the explosive into custody and transported it to Scranton Police Bomb Squad.
Officers with the bomb quad stated the devices seemed to be homemade and had enough power to blow off the hand or arm of the person holding it.
A search warrant was executed at the “Bilski’s office” and investors say they seized, 54 large m-devices and 19 small m-devices.
In a statement made to Eyewitness News, District Attorney Mark Powell said:
The illegal explosives being sold by the defendants, in this case, are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injuries or death.
As we approach the July Fourth holiday, we urge people not to play around with illegal, homemade, or black-market fireworks.DA Mark Powell
Both Bilski were charged with risking a catastrophe, and recklessly endangering another person.