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N.M.: Company fined in fireworks case

N.M.: Company fined in fireworks case

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A federal judge has fined a Sandia Park company $7,500 for violating a law against selling chemicals and components used to make illegal fireworks.

U.S. Magistrate Lorenzo Garcia on Friday also placed United Nuclear Scientific Equipment and Supplies on probation for three years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The agency, in a news release announcing the end of the case, said the company pleaded guilty to three counts of introducing into interstate commerce and aiding and abetting the introduction into interstate commerce of banned hazardous substances.

United Nuclear, its founder Bob Lazar and accountant Joy White also entered into a consent degree that permanently limits the amount of fireworks-related chemicals the firm can sell in the future; prohibits sales of any fuses, tubes and end caps; and requires United Nuclear to destroy remaining inventory of components and specified chemicals.

Lazar could not be reached for comment at his business, which is closed on Fridays.

The company sold components and chemicals used to make such illegal fireworks as M-80s and quarter sticks, which are banned by federal law and product safety commission regulations, the commission said.

The commission’s acting chairwoman, Nancy Nord, said the court ruling was a victory for consumer safety.

United Nuclear also sells polonium-210 in invisibly tiny amounts exempt from federal licensing restrictions. That’s the radioactive isotope blamed in the death of Kremlin critic and former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko in London last Nov. 23.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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