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Drugs, guns and cash seized in latest nitrous oxide crackdown

March 29, 2013|By Joseph Serna
  • Agents with the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations search for nitrous oxide tanks in Los Angeles during a joint operation dubbed "No Laughing Matter" with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Agents with the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

A week after federal and local law enforcement officials raided more than a dozen businesses suspected of illegally selling nitrous oxide, investigators have turned up more.

Additional searches have found assault rifles, stolen guns, cocaine, cash and more nitrous oxide, federal prosecutors and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are expected to announce Friday.

The announcement comes a week after law enforcement officers raided 17 businesses and nine delivery vehicles allegedly related to a crime ring that sold nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas – for recreational purposes.

The raid was part of a 15-month operation called "No Laughing Matter."

The gas can be legitimately used for anesthesia and to boost the performance of sports vehicles, but authorities say it was being used as an inhalant for people attending parties and raves.

Officials said a 16-year-old’s party was also shut down as part of the latest crackdown.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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