COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – A Marion fireworks company pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to smuggling.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's District of South Carolina office, evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that between November 2013 and late 2016, Atlas Importers, Inc. repeatedly imported unapproved fireworks for sale in the U.S.
The fireworks were omitted from invoices to conceal their presence in shipping containers, the release stated. Many had been modified to change the powder ratios from what had been approved. Effect powders were increased while launch powders were decreased.
The maximum penalty is a $500,000 fine and supervised release of five years. A judge will sentence the company at a later date.