LANCASTER – Three out-of-towners were arrested on drugs charges and several party goers were cited when authorities targeted a pair of rave parties in a remote desert area near Lancaster recently. The following is the press release from Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies from the Antelope Valley Crime Fighting Initiatives (AVCFI) patrolled the unincorporated areas of the High Desert, searching for two known “rave” parties Saturday (6/29/13) that were being planned in an unincorporated desert area patrolled by Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
By searching for illegal drug rave parties openly shared through social media, the Electronic Communications Triage Unit of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau (SHB eComm), crime analysts and Antelope Valley sheriff’s deputies narrowed down where the dangerous activities were going to take place.
“Our goal is to prevent the crimes before or quickly after they begin,” said Sheriff’s Lieutenant Larry Gregg, the AVCFI coordinator.
At these rave parties, narcotics, Nitrous Oxide (nozz) and alcohol are often abused by teenagers and young people. Violents attacks, rapes, overdoses and serious crimes often occur. Car crashes from driving under the influence injuring innocent people and other crimes and community disruptions add to the hazards. The risk of fires spreading due to unsafe bonfires is often present. It is not possible to get a permit for this illegal activity that is also very dangerous to the neighboring public and drivers on the roadways.
Rave Party 1:
“After learning who was promoting one of the parties, the promoter was contacted and advised the party was illegal,” said Sheriff’s Sergeant Kevin Pearcy, whose team planned the operation. The promoter, whose name was not released pending a criminal investigation, said his intention was to hold the party anyway and to make its location more difficult for law enforcement to find.
The location was found by deputies, who used Sheriff’s Department and other Los Angeles County and State resources to place several signs throughout the desert. The signs read “Rave Party Cancelled… by Sheriff’s Department.” The signs and the contact with the promoter worked, as this particular party did not take place. However, the teams’ work was not finished.
Rave Party 2:
As day turned into night, more information was received via the open advertising on social media about a possible second illegal drug rave in the Antelope Valley.
The second drug rave party was discovered and several teams of deputies [drove] to that location, which was in an unincorporated desert area patrolled by Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
There, a rave was discovered with 80-100 party-goers. The party consisted of two “decks” or D.J’s., neon lighting, generators, tents, alcohol and narcotics. What obviously was missing from the party location was restrooms, a water supply and county permits to have such a gathering.
“The County will not permit any event of this type, especially in the middle of a remote area like this one. There are no restrooms or even a water supply, running or not. It would take emergency medical teams, including paramedics, an extremely long amount of time to arrive at an area such as this one. With temperatures exceeding 110 degrees, this party was an accident waiting to happen and inherently dangerous” said Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Captain Pat Nelson. “It is not unusual for rave parties to last twenty-four hours or longer,” he added.
The party quickly ended when the deputies arrived and several party-goers were arrested for various charges, while others were issued citations for warrants and other violations.
- Suspect Michael Calabrese, 20 years old from Laguna Hills, Orange County, for felony possession of a controlled substance.
- Suspect Courtney George, 26 years old from Agoura Hills, Los Angeles County, for felony possession of a controlled substance. They were both booked at Lancaster Sheriff’s Station
- Also arrested was Timothy Frye, 27 years old from Oxnard, Ventura County, for being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was also booked at Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
“Most of the people at the rave were from areas well away from the Antelope Valley,” said Sergeant Pearcy. “They included Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County, Oxnard and Ventura in Ventura County, Laguna Hills in Orange County, Temecula in Riverside County, as well as San Diego County. They are driving for hours to come to participate in drug raves in the Antelope Valley. That’s a long drive for drug parties we are shutting down before they start.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has prevented over 400 illegal teen/drug/alcohol party raves throughout LASD patrol area that were openly advertised on social media since the end of 2012. The LASD has also sent hundreds of illegal drug party notices to neighboring policing agencies before the raves began.