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SCVNews.com | AV Deputies Mobilize to Stop Rave Parties | 08-27-2013
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rave082713In recent weeks, Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff’s Station deputies have ended two more illegal drug Rave parties, one before it even started.

Rave parties, which in many instances bring with them illegal drug use and underage drinking, potentially have an even darker side.

After receiving information from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau (SHB) eComm Unit, the Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Task Force, AVCFI, mobilized two teams, as well as additional resources, responding to the extreme northwest area of Lancaster Station’s patrol area in the Antelope Valley a few weeks ago (8/17/13).

Sergeant Kevin Pearcy said, “The area of this party was nearly in Kern County and the 5 freeway was only a few miles away. The music could be heard from nearly five miles away.”

During the past year, LASD SHB eComm has found over 1,000 illegal drug/nozz/alcohol for minors rave parties openly advertised on social media, prior to the rave party starting. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station or area policing agency is then notified so that violence, overdoses, and driving under the influence collisions can be prevented, by stopping the illegal drug raves before they start or soon thereafter.

AVCFI Coordinator, Lieutenant Larry Gregg, said receiving this information helps him assign resources and reduce the need to respond to rave party emergencies using even more deputies who could have been handling community calls for help.

“In this incident, we not only utilized the information being provided by SHB eComm, but also a Sheriff’s Aero Bureau helicopter to help us locate the party.” Lt. Gregg said over a dozen deputies on the ground were used in ending a rave. Two of the deputies actually entered the party, providing intelligence back to responding units several miles away. “Inside the party, the undercover deputies saw what they thought to be illegal drug sales by a suspect. That person eventually fled into the desert as radio cars approached, but it does show what occurs at these parties.”

The Sheriff’s Department said it will continue to utilize innovative methods to prevent these types of criminal and dangerous events.

Approximately 200 people were at the party when Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputies arrived, but more than 800 people had responded via social media that they would be attending. Closed down early by about 11:00 pm, the Rave was expected to continue to grow in size if left unchecked.

Lt. Gregg said, ”The problem is the mob mentality that seems to take place after these folks ingest enough alcohol and drugs. I have seen bonfires, tremendous amounts of nitrous oxide, methamphetamine, molly and bath salts being used by these young adults.” He added that even the name of the party, referring to a type of drug, projects the intention of the rave to use drugs. Given they are in the desert, they then drive under the influence and endanger everyone on the road. The unsafe bonfires could result in a wildfire.

Four partygoers were cited and released at the scene on various misdemeanor charges. The property owner was warned about large unpermitted parties and advised about potential civil litigation if someone was hurt on his property during an event such as this.

The promoters of this party are known, and Lieutenant Gregg said an investigation is continuing to determine what, if any, criminal charges can be filed against them. He said, “These promoters are soliciting money for illegal, unpermitted events. They are allowing illegal use of property and drugs at these events and keep their ticket sales whether the rave goes on as planned or is shut down.”

Last week, another drug Rave Party was found on the Internet by the LASD SHB eComm Unit. Again in the Antelope Valley, this Rave Party was promoted as a “lock down” event inside an industrial warehouse (8/23/13). Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and City of Lancaster Public Safety officials contacted both the warehouse owner and the promoter of the event and the event was cancelled before it started.

Captain Patrick Nelson of Lancaster Sheriff’s Station said, “Sometimes law enforcement needs to protect people from themselves. These two events, were promoted using the name of a drug and the other as a ‘Lock In’. Both have either connotations of illegal activity or are illegal based on the manner in which they are promoted. You cannot lock the doors to these events. You are asking for disasters of epic proportions such as a fatal fire. These events, because of what they bring with them, illegal drug use and underage drinking will not be permitted in the City of Lancaster or in the County areas. Without permits these event cannot be held legally.”

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1 Comment

  1. Patrick says:

    I used to throw raves and promote… I agree with law enforcement. Even the legal scenes cause people to drive home drunk and endanger lives. It often feels like there’s nothing else to do in this area but to do bad things… but our education system is washed out, there are a lack of jobs, and a good amount of the population collect unemployment, SSI, and food stamps. They don’t pay enough, so there are a lot of people who sell drugs to pay their bills and use them as an antidepressant. Meanwhile, college students are going into debt and can’t find jobs when they graduate. It seems like something needs to change. There’s a big separation between lower class and middle/upper class, and most people don’t know what to do.

    These events used to be about love and unity. If it were just love and unity, we wouldn’t need law enforcement. I threw events for free. Yes there was underage drinking, which I agree was bad, but we enforced our own safety, brought drinking water, and encouraged people to bring tents so that they could be sober before driving home. We did not allow minors. Also, we never used online social networking. Further, we knew everybody who was there. Nobody ever got hurt, nothing was ever stolen, and not even any trash was left behind. It felt like great times! And those are important when you get out of high school.

    However, I look back on all those years and I don’t even have pictures of all these people. They are good people, but without any direction (which is common in LA county), the separation is just adding to the problem.

    We need to quit using scare tactics and give our community reasons to come together for a greater good. We need to serve the interests of the community, even if it involves entertaining the younger generations. Why never ideas like closing off the BLVD for electronic dance parties like done for the farmer’s market? Why not incentives for the community for supporting the safety of each other? We have a water park, why not consult with them? Wouldn’t ideas like this cost less and be a better resolution? Busting the parties is necessary, yes, but I think we need to think in the interest of the people causing the problem, rather than reprimanding them.

    Just my 2.5 cents.

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