Feds raid 17 Calif. auto stores for nitrous oxide

Several Southern California auto shops and other businesses suspected of illegally selling nitrous oxide for recreational use were raided by hundreds of law enforcement officers on Friday. This drug raid has been considered the largest of its kind in the nation.

During 17 simultaneous raids conducted in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside County, four federal arrest warrants were also served. At least two individuals were arrested on misdemeanor charges.

This nitrous oxide raid is the result of a year-and-a-half-long investigation conducted by the FDA’s Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Although this type of drug has been commonly used at raves for a long time, the drug has quickly grown into mainstream use. Furthermore, because it is not a controlled substance, law enforcement does not have the ability to control it.

This drug is legally used by dentists when needing to administer anesthesia, but authorities have stated that its illegal use has contributed to dozens of car accidents, rapes, and deaths among teenagers.