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Fireworks Execs Plead Innocent

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Three people pleaded innocent Monday to federal charges they covered up illegal activities at a Jefferson County fireworks factory.

Ron and Kim Walker, as well as Russ Nickel, are accused of improperly storing explosives, misleading safety inspectors and failing to report explosions at the Pyro Products plant in Dittmer.

Three explosions since 1999 have killed two people and injured five others at the plant 40 miles southwest of St. Louis. The
executives are not charged in the deaths or injuries.

Federal prosecutors say the trio should not be allowed to transport fireworks while a trial is pending. Ron Walker still operates a fireworks company in Montana called Next FX.

Walker's attorney says the government is trying to intimidate the executives and hurt them financially.

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