LANCASTER – Law enforcement is continuing to crack down on illegal “rave” parties in the Antelope Valley. Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff’s Station deputies recently ended two more illegal parties, one before it even started, authorities said.
Last week, an Antelope Valley rave party, promoted as a “lock down” event inside an industrial warehouse, was found on the Internet by the sheriff department’s eComm Unit.
The event was planned for Friday, Aug. 23. However, law enforcement contacted both the warehouse owner and the promoter of the event, and the event was cancelled before it started, according to Lt. Larry Gregg of the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiatives.
On Aug. 17, a sheriff’s helicopter was used to locate another rave party in the extreme northwest area of Lancaster Station’s patrol area.
“The area of this party was nearly in Kern County, and the 5 freeway was only a few miles away,” said Sgt. Kevin Pearcy. “The music could be heard from nearly five miles away.”
Two undercover deputies entered the party and then provided intelligence back to responding units, according to Gregg.
“Inside the party, the undercover deputies saw what they thought to be illegal drug sales by a suspect,” Gregg said. “That person eventually fled into the desert as radio cars approached, but it does show what occurs at these parties.”
About 200 people were at the party when more than a dozen deputies arrived, but more than 800 people had responded via social media that they would be attending, Gregg stated. Closed down early at 11 p.m., the Rave was expected to continue to grow in size if left unchecked, Gregg said.
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.
”The problem is the mob mentality that seems to take place after these folks ingest enough alcohol and drugs,” Gregg said. “I have seen bonfires, tremendous amounts of nitrous oxide, methamphetamine, molly and bath salts being used by these young adults.”
Gregg said the name of the Aug. 17 party refers to a type of drug, which projects the intention of the rave to use drugs.
The promoters of that rave party are known, and Gregg said an investigation is continuing to determine what, if any, criminal charges can be filed against them.
“These promoters are soliciting money for illegal, unpermitted events,” he said. “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.”
The sheriff’s department will continue to use innovative methods to prevent these types of criminal and dangerous events, officials said.
Captain Pat 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 events cannot be held legally.”
During the past year, the sheriff’s eComm Unit has found over 1,000 illegal drug/nozz/alcohol for minors rave parties openly advertised on social media. 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.
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