Southern California breaking news and trends

Rocket launcher seized, children and puppies removed in LASD raids

rocket launcher

Photo via Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Rocket launcher, more weapons and suspected methamphetamine seized. Four gang members arrested by LASD OSS in Paramount, Long Beach, Compton.

A rocket launcher, body armor, ammunition, suspected methamphetamine, pit bull puppies and two children were discovered in a series of Southern California raids, say LA County sheriff's officials.

Suspected drugs and weapons were seized, the puppies were taken by animal control, and the children were removed and placed into the custody of child services on Wednesday, officials said in a release.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Arson Explosives detectives determined the AT-4 (Anti-Tank) rocket launcher was inoperable. The rocket launcher, which appears to be a military weapon, was designed to only be fired one time and cannot be reloaded. It lacks a serial number and therefore determining its origins may not be possible.

Operation Safe Streets (OSS) gang investigators assigned to Lakewood Sheriff’s Station developed information during an attempt murder incident which led to officials serving search warrants on eight locations -- one in Compton, one in Long Beach, six in Paramount.


Federal agents seize 5,700 pounds of ‘precursor’ chemicals at LAX – enough to make $40 million of meth

Customs and Border Protection

This large shipment of methylamine was intercepted by CBP agents at LAX in September 2011. The recent seizure at LAX was about twice as large.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seize a lot of stuff at LAX in the course of their work -- erectile dysfunction chemicals, wanted fugitives, threatening beetles.

But one thing the CBP agents seem to encounter above all else is methylamine hydrochloride, a chemical used to make methamphetamines.

The latest seizure came earlier this month, agents announced today, as 5,700 pounds of the chemical -- several barrels’ worth -- were headed through LAX from China on their way to Mexico.

The Daily News reports that two shipments were intercepted on April 19 and 23. The chemicals theoretically could have been used to make roughly 3,600 pounds of meth -- worth about $40 million. They can also be used to make ecstasy.

Or they can be used for legitimate purposes. The CBP states that “Methylamine hydrochloride is a corrosive, flammable, strong odor chemical essential to manufacture methamphetamine and ecstasy. Methylamine hydrochloride has legitimate industrial applications in pesticides, solvents and pharmaceutical products.”


Officials seize 160 pounds of meth in raids on drug labs in Van Nuys and Pomona

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

This photo shows some of the drugs and drug-making materials seized during a raid on two separate meth labs in Van Nuys and Pomona.

Authorities discovered more than 160 pounds of methamphetamines this week being cooked up in two labs -- one in Van Nuys and one in Pomona – with an estimated street value of well over $6 million, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced today.

ICE officials, working closely with the DEA and police from El Monte and Santa Monica, raided the labs late Wednesday night following the arrest of a 25-year-old suspected drug runner from Mexico.

“After obtaining state search warrants, investigators entered the unoccupied residences and found supplies of a chemical commonly used to refine methamphetamine, along with drying equipment, scales and packaging materials,” ICE officials said. Specially trained agents spent the next day removing the dangerous and often highly explosive substances.