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Distributor sentenced in underground fireworks operation in Niles

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Undercover investigators found the operation, which was being run out of a basement in Niles

A gavel with a blurred courtroom in the background.

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – A man was sentenced Friday for his role in an underground fireworks operation in Niles.

Zachary Booth was sentenced to three years of probation, including 40 hours of community service. He will not have to pay a fine.

In September, Booth pleaded guilty to distributing explosives.

Undercover investigators found the operation, which was being run out of Andrew Syacsure’s Niles basement.

According to an indictment, federal agents started buying the explosives in February 2019.

Investigators said Syacsure and Donald P. Phillips made and sold homemade fireworks and explosives.

Most of the buys took place in the parking lot of Phillips’ workplace, Berena’s Automotive Center on Robbins Avenue in Niles.

Police said Donald R. Phillips was also connected to the case. He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic violence.

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