CARSON (CBSLA.com) — Illegal social networking parties are on the rise around the Southland.
Often advertised on social media like Facebook and Twitter, the parties often boast that drugs will be provided.
In a story you will only see on KCAL9, reporter Brittney Hopper went on a LA County Sheriff's ride-along Saturday to check out some of the parties -- and their illegal activities. She reported, "It's not that it's illegal to have a party but what deputies are seeing, a lot of illegal activity going on -- involving drugs and alcohol. There has been violence. And they want to put a stop to it before the party gets started."
Said Rodrick Armalin of the LA County Sheriff's Department, "Rival gangs show up and we've seen an amount of violence occurring including shootings, stabbings -- unfortunately even some rapes have occurred at these parties."
A unit within the LA County Sheriff's department has been assigned to overlook social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to gather information on where large parties -- or raves -- are being held and what type of illegal activities are going on.
Hopper and the Sheriff's unit was on their way to one party where he said, "They're possibly going to have nitrous oxide there."
Derrick Cooper is throwing a fundraiser for kids. Little did he know, on social media sites, people were advertising this is where nitrous oxide, Viagra and other drugs were going to be sold.
Hopper asked if Cooper knew about some kids planning to bring drugs?
Says Cooper, "That is not allowed, let alone tolerated. No, this is the first I've heard of it."
Deputies say many times the person throwing the party, or allowing the party, doesn't have a clue about the advertising on social media.
Armalin adds, "Not to the parents knowledge, the child has gotten together with a promoter and they're now advertising that they're going to charge admission, sell nitrous oxide, have marijuana and sell alcohol."
Over at a birthday party being thrown for a 17-year-old, deputies say Facebook posts imply alcohol and other drugs will be available. Johan Santos, who stopped by the party, says the wrong crowd showed up, ending the celebration.
Said Santos, "I heard there was a small party but everything was under adult supervision. But I think some gang members showed up and they canceled everything."
Deputies say many of these large parties and raves don't have a license to charge admission, or sell alcohol. Many times the unit gives warnings before the party even starts, while continuing to check on Facebook, looking for more posts about illegal activity, then they'll break the party up.
Armalin said, "We're basically letting folks inside the house know that this is what we're seeing and if these things occur there could be legal and financial responsibility."
No one was arrested tonight. Deputies say they will remain vigilant to try and stop bigger problems from occurring.
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