Raves in Desert Busted With Help of Social Media

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Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

  • Christopher Victorio for LA Weekly
Summer is prime raving season.

But the L.A. County Sheriff's Department has in recent months been using social media to crack down on raves and house parties. This weekend deputies announced that they busted two events with the help of social media:

Yep. As soon as you know a party is happening, sheriff's deputies do too.

According to the department, it's been tracking events on Facebook, Twitter and other sites via its Electronic Communications Triage Unit.

On June 29 deputies found out about two allegedly illicit events, narrowed down the possible locations, zeroed in, and shut them down. One was busted before it could even start.

Says the department:

At these rave parties, narcotics, Nitrous Oxide (nozz) and alcohol are often abused by teenagers and young people. Violents attacks, rapes, overdoses and serious crimes often occur. Car crashes from driving under the influence injuring innocent people and other crimes and community disruptions add to the hazards. The risk of fires spreading due to unsafe bonfires is often present. It is not possible to get a permit for this ilegal actiivity that is also very dangerous to the neighboring public and drivers on the roadways.

These particular desert raves were scheduled for unincorporated areas of Lancaster, deputies said.

The first event was scuttled even though the promoter, who's still being investigated, told deputies he intended "to make its location more difficult for law enforcement to find," according to a sheriff's statement.

Ravers traveling to the party were greeted with Caltrans-style roadside signs reading "Rave Party Canceled."

click to enlarge LASD
  • LASD

The second event, which had as many as 100 party-goers at an Antelope Valley location, saw "several" people arrested, deputies said.

At the party deputies say the found DJ gear as well as "neon lighting, generators, tents, alcohol and narcotics."

Arrestees included:

-Twenty-year-old Michael Calabrese of Laguna Hills for alleged felony drug possession.

-Courtney George, a 26-year-old from Agoura Hills, also for alleged felony drug possession.

-And Timothy Frye, a 27-year-old from Oxnard, for allegedly being under the influence of drugs.

Sheriff's Capt. Pat Nelson:

click to enlarge NATE 'IGOR' SMITH FOR LA WEEKLY
  • Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

The County will not permit any event of this type, especially in the middle of a remote area like this one. There are no restrooms or even a water supply, running or not. It would take emergency medical teams including paramedics, an extremely long amount of time to arrive at an area such as this one. With temperatures exceeding 110 degrees, this party was an accident waiting to happen and inherently dangerous.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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