Dozens of Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies and federal agents gathered today at Cerritos Regional Park, where a command post was established as part of `Operation No Laughing Matter,' -- a multi-city operation targeting local businesses that sell nitrous oxide as recreational drug.
One of the businesses raided today is located in the city of Cerritos.
"This is a multi-agency crack down on a growing problem that entails kids going to parties and using nitrous oxide to get high," Deputy David Fletcher of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's COPS Bureau told Patch. "Today we are targeting businesses that sell this gas usually under the pretense of racing purposes."
Nitrous oxide, often referred to as "nitrous," allows a vehicle's engine to burn more fuel by providing more oxygen than air alone, resulting in a more powerful combustion. This colorless, non-flammable gas is also known as "laughing gas," and is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. However, some nitrous oxide distributors are selling the gas as a drug used by young people at rave-style parties
Involved in Friday's operation were members of the Sheriff's Department, federal agents and the US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fletcher said.
Nineteen assembled teams will be carrying out federal search warrants at various locations throughout the Southland, including businesses in the cities of Cerritos, Norwalk, Riverside, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Gardena, Carson, Corona, Garden Grove, North Hills, South Gate and Huntington Park.
"We'll be confiscating supplies of nitrous oxide and any other items that indicate illegality of these sales," said Fletcher, adding that some of the businesses operate under the guise of auto parts stores, although no auto parts are actually inside the location.
Fletcher said the command post will likely remain at the Cerritos park until at least midnight. At least four McKnight semi-trucks, parked along Bloomfield Avenue on the outskirts of the park, will be used to carry the confiscated items once the operation is complete, he added.
Cerritos deputies raided BPG Performance in Cerritos. Results of the search warrant at BPG were not immediately released.