Prosecutors have charged a Kansas City man with selling an illegal weapon after police this week found 185 improvised explosive devices at his home.
Police say James E. Dunlap, 30, was caught distributing large amounts of homemade and commercial fireworks.
According to court documents, an undercover police detective visited Dunlap’s home Tuesday after officers in the department’s media relations unit learned about two Facebook profile accounts that showed Dunlap advertising explosives for sale.
An undercover police officer purchased three devices from Dunlap at his home in the 4500 block of East 60th Street, according to court records. After Dunlap was arrested, detectives found 182 more explosive devices at the home.
Investigators found hundreds of pounds of fireworks at the home, police said Thursday.
Police thanked social media users Thursday for tipping off the department to Dunlap. Two social media followers notified police about Dunlap through the department’s Facebook page.
“Tips from the public and engagement with the community always have been essential for our department to solve and prevent crimes,” Police Chief Darryl Forté said in a statement.
“Social media has offered us a whole new way to communicate and build relationships with the public, and we’re glad residents have been so receptive online.”
The Kansas City Police Department has 32,048 Facebook followers and 74,475 Twitter followers.
It is illegal to sell, use or possess fireworks in Kansas City, police said.