A Ralston man accused of possessing illegal fireworks made a court appearance Wednesday morning. Because a prosecution witness was not available, the hearing for Jeff Belmont was delayed until August 19th.
Multiple law enforcement agencies raided his home near 72nd and Washington streets last month. He was charged with possessing explosives first degree, a felony.
"This stuff is very sensitive to the point that static electricity could potentially set mixtures off and if we don't know what they are, we are always going to be very cautious," said the ATF’s John Ham at the time of the raid.
Belmont said fireworks are a passion of his and he puts on shows for neighbors every summer.
Josh Berger, who was injured in a fireworks-related incident at Belmont's home in 2005 when he was 13 attended Belmont's bond hearing on June 26th. "I've gone over there every year and I will continue to go over there on the Fourth just to have a good time. He's a good friend, he's a friend from church and there's no hurt feelings and we've kind of blown over that whole situation."
Berger spent 49 days in the hospital and had his appendix and part of his intestine removed. Belmont was sentenced to 15 days in jail, a year of probation and 40 hours of community service in February 2006.