(Joint News Release Update) Nitrous Oxide search warrants result in Arrests, Assault Rifles, Stolen Guns, Cocaine, Cash, Unsafe NOS Storage…& a 16-yr old’s home Nozz party arrest after he advertised his Nozz/Drug party openly on social media.
(2nd Joint News Release) Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Food and Drug Administration
Nearly 300 federal Food and Drug Administration agents and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies served 17 federal search warrants on March 22, 2013 related to the sales of Nitrous Oxide as a drug. This is an update on the results of those search warrants.
1.The names and addresses of the 17 businesses where federal search warrants were served on March 22, 2013, are listed below, along with the approximate number of Nitrous Oxide tanks that were recovered,. The businesses are located in the cities of: Carson, Cerritos, Gardena (Co.), Huntington Park, Los Angeles, North Hills, Norwalk, South Gate, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Corona, and Riverside.
1. ADVANCED GAS PRODUCTS, INC., located at 7552 Reynolds Circle, Huntington Beach – Advanced Gas Huntington Beach – (Seized approximately 19 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each, and one 12,000 pound tank)
2. CALIFORNIA TOOL AND WELDING SUPPLY, LLC, located at 201 Main Street, Riverside (“CALIFORNIA TOOL – RIVERSIDE” – (Seized approximately 39 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each and one approximately 25,000 pound tank)
3. CALIFORNIA TOOL AND WELDING SUPPLY, LLC, located at 1004 East First Street, Santa Ana (“CALIFORNIA TOOL – SANTA ANA”). (Seized approximately 22 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each)
4. BPG AUTO PARTS, INC., located at 419 West 17th Street, #A, Santa Ana – (Seized approximately 274 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each)
5. SANTA ANA SPEED, located at 120 South Broadway Avenue, Santa Ana – (Seized approximately 24 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each)
6. CUSTOM PERFORMANCE, located at 115 East Gardena Boulevard, #1B, Gardena (Unincorporated LA County) (“CUSTOM PERFORMANCE #1”). – (Seized approximately 34 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) – (Unsafe storage of Nitrous Oxide)
7. MIDNIGHT SPEED SHOP, located at 21422 Alameda Street, Carson – (Seized approximately 46 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) (Unsafe storage of Nitrous Oxide)
8. VICTOR ENTERPRISES, INC., doing business as Victor Welding Supply, located at 1180 East 58th Street, Los Angeles – (Seized approximately 45 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each). Three arrests were made at the business, and a fourth was made on Monday, March 25: http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/CriminalInvestigations/ucm345526.htm
9. MAX SPEED NITROUS SUPPLY, located at 1550 West 6th Street, #102, Corona – (Seized approximately 75 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each)
10. BPG PERFORMANCE, located 16303 1/2 Piuma Avenue, Cerritos – (Seized approximately 24 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) (Suspect Arrested with Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Marijuana & Other Drugs)
11. N2O AUTO SUPPLY, located at 7221 Garden Grove Boulevard, #C, Garden Grove – (Seized approximately 77 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each)
12. NITROUS TURBO SYSTEMS, located at 10372 Trask Avenue, #D, Garden Grove – (Seized approximately 34 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each)
13. CUSTOM PERFORMANCE, located at 8540 Sepulveda Boulevard, #1A, North Hills (“CUSTOM PERFORMANCE #2”). – (Seized approximately 28 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) (Suspect was arrested for a felony narcotics warrant).
14. LA RUSH, INC., located at 13556 Pumice Street, Norwalk (“LA RUSH #1”). – (Seized approximately 71 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) (Unsafe storage of Nitrous Oxide)
15. LA RUSH, INC., located at 5717 Malabar Street, Huntington Park (“LA RUSH #2”). – (Seized approximately 52 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) (Unsafe storage of Nitrous Oxide)
16. SPEEDWERKS, INC., located at 5422 South Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles – (Seized approximately 50 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) (One suspect arrested with a stolen handgun)
17. CM RACING, located at 11616 Center Street, South Gate, California. – (Seized approximately 50 nitrous oxide tanks about 64 pounds each) Two suspects were arrested for multiple weapons charges, 13 guns were seized as evidence, including assault weapons and high capacity magazines. One gun was a 50 caliber assault weapon. Three of the guns were reported stolen, including from San Bernardino County, California, Texas and Tennessee..
2. Unsafe storage of Nitrous Oxide at Four of the Locations Where Federal Search Warrants Were Served in Carson, Gardena (Co.), Huntington Park, and Norwalk
During the service of the 17 federal search warrants, it was discovered that several businesses had stored the nitrous oxide in an unsafe manner. As a result, experts from the Health Hazardous Materials Division (HHMD) of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and Arson/ Explosives Detail of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and joined agents with the Food & Drug Administration and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies with the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Bureau. Law enforcement and hazardous materials experts were at four of the businesses throughout the night, because many of the Nitrous Oxide tanks had been frozen or heated and thus made them unsafe to move until experts could render it safe. These businesses were: LA Rush in Norwalk, LA Rush in Huntington Park, Midnight Speed in Carson, and Custom Performance in (unincorporated) Gardena.
3. Over 650 nitrous oxide tanks, mostly 64 pounds each were recovered as evidence by federal Food and Drug Administration investigators, loaded onto tractor trailers, and transported to a holding facility. Thousands of gallons of nitrous oxide was seized including approximately 12,000 and 25,000 gallon tanks. The nitrous oxide that was recovered as evidence on March 22, 2013, was estimated to be valued at $10 million retail and $20 million when sold as a drug at parties.
4. Environment – The amount of damage to the ozone from the illegal drug party use of nitrous oxide in the greater LA area has been estimated by federal authorities to be more than that would be caused annually by a small oil refinery in the center of Los Angeles.
5. Four suspects have been arrested on federal charges and have been released on bail. All were released subject to the condition that they not sell nitrous oxide or otherwise engage in activities related to the sale of nitrous oxide. http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/CriminalInvestigations/ucm345526.htm They are:
Suspect Rose Marie Cuellar – Released on $50,000 bond with a federal court appearance date scheduled for April 30, 2013 at 1 p.m.
Suspect Federico Valencia – Released on $25,000 bond with a federal court appearance date scheduled for April 13, 2013 at 4:30 p.m
Suspect Edward Valencia – Released on $25,000 bond with a federal court appearance date scheduled for April 15, 2013 at 4:30 p.m
Suspect William Victor – Released on $50,000 bond with a federal court appearance date scheduled for April 19, 2013 at 1 p.m
6. Suspect Arrested with Cocaine, Meth, Marijuana & Other Drugs when he Arrives to Buy Nitrous Oxide in Cerritos
At “BPG Performance” in Cerritos, evidence suggested to uniformed sheriff’s deputies that a person who arrived in a car to buy nitrous oxide may have narcotics. This led to the trunk of the car of Suspect Joshua Green, 42, of Cardiff, California. He was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for Possession for Sales of Narcotics (felony) after drugs were found that deputies believed included cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, marijuana, hashish, Xanax and other substances that will undergo testing to determine what they are. Suspect Green had allegedly come to BPG to fill several tanks with nitrous oxide. Green was also carrying roughly $4,000 in cash.
7. Stolen Gun Arrest at business in South Los Angeles
At “Speedwerks, “5422 S. Normandie Ave, South Los Angeles, (employee) Suspect Eulalio Rodriguez, a 24 year old resident of South Los Angeles for arrested for Possession of a Stolen (loaded) Beretta 9mm handgun. It had been reported stolen in 2010 in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles.
8. Two Suspects Arrested and 13 Guns & Ammo. Seized including 3 Stolen Guns & Assault Weapons Including a 50 caliber Rifle:
13 guns plus high capacity magazines (10 and 15 rounds magazines) and ammunition including armor piercing rounds were recovered as evidence by deputies at “CM Racing,” 11316 Center Street, South Gate:
Suspect Chad McGee, 30-year old resident of South Gate was arrested at “CM Racing,” 11316 Center Street, South Gate. He was released on $20,000.00 bail. Suspect Matthew Allred, a 25-year old resident of South Gate was arrested at “CM Racing,” 11316 Center Street, South Gate. He was released on $50,000.00 bail. They were arrested for: Possession of stolen firearms 496 (A) PC (felony); Possession of high capacity magazine 32310 PC (felony); Import assault weapon 30600(A)PC (felony); Firearms not registered within 60 days 27560 PC; Possession of an Assault Rifle 30605A PC.
The guns seized and held as evidence include:
*SKS 762 Calibre Rifle – reported stolen from Morongo, San Bernardino County
*Winchester 12 Gauge Shotgun – reported stolen from Celina, Clay County, Tennessee
*Spingfield Army 45 caliber handgun – reported stolen from Houston, Texas
*AR-15 223 Rifle
*Mossberg Shotgun 12 gauge
*Daniel Defense Rifle 223 Caliber
*Winchester Rifle 30-06
*Winchester Rifle 308
*Remington 308 Rifle
*Mossberg Shotgun 12 gauge
*Short Defense Systems Rifle 223
*Savage Arms 50 cal. rifle
*Sig Sauer handgun 40 cal
16 – loaded 30 round magazines
10 – loaded 15 round magazines
.223 cal armor piercing rounds plus more ammunition and magazines for the guns
9. Within hours of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and federal authorities announcing the 17 location search warrants on March 22, 2013, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home of a 16-year old Whittier (Co.) youth who was advertising openly on social media the sales of Nitrous Oxide (”Nozz’) at a party at his home. The Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau – Electronic Communications Triage Unit (SHB eComm) had advised Norwalk Sheriff’s Station deputies of the advertised party as seen on social media. 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).
10. Quantity of illegal drug/nozz/alcohol parties in Los Angeles County and beyond
The LASD SHB eComm unit has found over 350 illegal drug/nozz/alcohol parties openly advertised on social media for the world to see, especially targeting youth, in LASD jurisidication since Sept, 1, 2012. By preventing these illegal drug raves, it enabled us to prevent harm to 1000′s of kids. We have also sent hundreds of illegal drug/nozz/alcohol party notices to neighboring police agencies. Nearly all of these illegal parties advertise Nitrous Oxide as a party drug for sale.
11. Preventing Violent Assault, Sexual Assaults and Overdoses
Preliminary statistics from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department show that when these illegal drug/nozz/alcohol parties are advertised openly on social media in this way, about 30% result in violence at the party, causing a dozen or more sheriff’s deputies to have to break up the illegal party and restore order to the kids and neighborhood being damaged. Importantly, 10% of these illegal parties result in documented violent assaults, rapes, or overdoses. The Sheriff’s Department believes proactive efforts have prevented at least 30 violent assaults in the past six months.