They may be illegal, but that didn’t stop one Matteson woman from possessing enough explosives to level a city block.
Felicia West, 21, was arrested and charged last week with felony unlawful use of weapon, misdemeanor child endangerment and misdemeanor animal cruelty after police found West, her five-year-old daughter and a locked-up dog in a trailer with the explosives.
Police found the materials in plain sight when they were responding to a reported burglary. They believe the items recovered were being used to make homemade fireworks.
Among the materials collected were flash powder, aluminum power, cardboard tubes and 300 pounds of consumer and professional fireworks. Some of the material was so dangerous, authorities said, that it had to be returned to the manufacturer for proper disposal.
"This would have been horrific damage, horrific casualties if this had [exploded]," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
Police destroyed the remaining material in 81 separate explosions in a quarry Friday morning, but the case is still under investigation. West’s bond was set at $5,000 and she will appear at her next court date July 1.
West did not have a criminal history prior to this incident.