Rialto police officers carried out a raid at an auto repair shop in Fontana Friday night, making two arrests and seizing dangerous nitrous oxide that was suspected of being sold illegally to minors.
The department says huffing nitrous oxide, also commonly known as NOS, while driving has become a growing and dangerous trend — one that has allegedly caused numerous accidents and even death.
“Every contact that we’ve had with anybody in possession of nitrous oxide who were inhaling it, they all mentioned this business, stating that this is the place where it’s being distributed from,” said Officer Nicholas Parcher.
NOS is used in auto racing, but investigators say the RCO Auto Repair in Fontana has been selling it by the tank fulls to those looking for a cheap and dangerous high.
The department says they’ve seen a surge in car accidents caused by drivers under the influence of NOS. Authorities say kids are inhaling the gas from balloons while behind the wheel and passing out. At least one person has been killed, police said.
Two employees of RCO Auto Repair were arrested on misdemeanor charges. Authorities are now pushing for tougher laws as the use of NOS continues to grow.
Rialto police say several customers, including a teenage girl, were lined up ready to fill their tanks when police arrived at the scene.