Georgia police arrest pair for selling nitrous oxide in balloons after concert

Sep 26, 2023, 3:06 PM

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia police officer has arrested two people for selling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas.

An Athens-Clarke County officer made the arrests Thursday, the Athens Banner-Herald reports, after spotting people milling around with balloons following a concert in downtown Athens.

The officer observed that the people were holding the balloons closed with their hands, instead of tying them with string.

The officer found a man and a woman in a nearby parking garage selling the balloons after filling them with a gas. The officer said the man initially told the officer that the gas was helium, but he later admitted it was laughing gas.

Nitrous oxide is used medically as an anesthetic and pain reliever. But people also use the drug to get high. Heavy use can cause damage to brain and nerve tissue.

Jail records show the 23-year-old Atlanta man and 25-year-old Miramar, Florida, woman were charged with misdemeanor sale, distribution or possession of dangerous drugs. Each was released Friday after posting bail. It’s unclear if either has a lawyer to speak for them.

Police Lt. Jody Thompson credited the officer’s “very watchful eye” for noticing the activity. On Tuesday, he described the sale of nitrous oxide as a “very rare occurrence” in Athens, although news reports show arrests were made in 2018 for selling balloons of the gas.

The couple had left three children, ages 1, 5 and 8, in a parked car nearby. A state child welfare worker took them into custody.

National News

Associated Press

Ramaswamy was the target of death threats in New Hampshire that led to FBI arrest, campaign says

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man has been accused of sending text messages threatening to kill a presidential candidate ahead of a scheduled campaign event Monday, federal prosecutors said. The U.S. Attorney’s office did not name the candidate. However, a spokesperson for Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said Monday that the texts were directed […]

10 minutes ago

Associated Press

Man filmed wielding folding chair in riverfront brawl pleads guilty to misdemeanor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A man filmed swinging a folding chair during an Alabama riverfront brawl this summer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge Monday. The guilty plea resolved the last of the charges brought in connection with the brawl. The man was ordered to perform community service and given a suspended sentence. […]

11 minutes ago

Associated Press

Bronze top hat missing from Abraham Lincoln statue in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Abraham Lincoln’s top hat is missing from a bronze sculpture along the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. The sculptor, Ed Hamilton, posted photos of his artwork at Waterfront Park on Facebook on Saturday and said someone stole the hat from the sculpture. “They had to be strong and determined to pry […]

32 minutes ago

Researchers from NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center inspected a 52-foot-long female fin whale ...

Associated Press

52-foot-long dead fin whale washes up on San Diego beach; cause of death unclear

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 52-foot-long (16-meter-long) dead fin whale washed up on a San Diego beach over the weekend and officials said there was no obvious sign of the cause of death. The young female whale was found Sunday in Mission Beach and was later towed out to sea, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. […]

41 minutes ago

FILE - Special counsel Jack Smith speaks to the media about an indictment of former President Donal...

Associated Press

Special counsel Jack Smith asks Supreme Court to rule quickly on whether Trump can be prosecuted

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Jack Smith on Monday asked the Supreme Court to take up and rule quickly on whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he plotted to overturn the 2020 election results. A federal judge ruled the case could go forward, but Trump, 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner, signaled […]

53 minutes ago

Associated Press

Rapper Quando Rondo charged with federal drug crimes. He was already fighting Georgia charges

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The rapper Quando Rondo has been indicted on federal drug charges in Georgia, where he also faces state gang and drug charges filed six months ago. Chatham County jail records show the 24-year-old rapper, whose real name is Tyquian Terrel Bowman, was booked in the federal case Saturday after being arrested […]

56 minutes ago

Georgia police arrest pair for selling nitrous oxide in balloons after concert