Following its crackdown on alleged distributors of rave drug nitrous oxide last week, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department today said local "noz parties" are on the rise and frequently end in violence.
The department says there have been 350 "illegal raves" featuring nitrous and advertised via social media in its jurisdiction since Sept, 1. About 30 percent of these parties ...
... end in violence, deputies say. The LASD adds that an additional ten percent ...
... of these illegal parties result in documented violent assaults, rapes, or overdoses.
In fact, deputies say, only hours after announcing last week's bust, deputies shut down a noz party being thrown by a 16-year-old in Whittier:
LASD Norwalk Sheriff's deputies went to the home and found him and many other minors, Nitrous Oxide, and no adults. His parents were out of town. He was arrested by deputies for furnishing the intoxicating gas to minors (381c (b) California Penal Code).
Nitrous has been a part of the rave scene since the early 1990s but seems to have made a return.
The sheriff's department released those stats as it updated the details of last week's crackdown, which resulted in 17 federal search warrants and the arrests of four people, most accused of mislabeling the drug.
Authorities essentially alleged that suspects were selling nitrous intended for souping up cars to party organizers. Many of the businesses raided were after-market performance shops.
Cops today said they ultimately seized more than 650 nitrous tanks with contents worth $10 million and as much as $20 million at parties, where noz is sold in often balloons for $3 to $5.
One of the suspects, 42-year-old San Diego County resident Joshua Green, allegedly rolled up to BPG Performance in Cerritos to buy tanks as deputies were raiding the place.
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They say he had cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, marijuana, hashish, Xanax and $4,000 in cash on him. Oops. Green was arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sale.
Additionally, deputies say they seized 13 guns, including assault-type weapons, a .50 caliber rifle, and three guns that had been reported stolen; they also said they took high-capacity magazines, including armor-piercing rounds.
This, of course, suggests that nitrous, however harmless or harmful, has attracted some bad people to the party.