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News Link • Events: America

Wave of Burning Man-Related Drug Arrests Won't Go to Trial


As reported here back in August, a cabal of federal and state agencies conducted a campaign of onerously harassing car stops and subsequent drug arrests on the main road heading to the Burning Man festival in the weeks ramping up to its start.

Many of those stopped, and the Burning Man organization itself, made noise, complaining that there were obvious Fourth Amendment issues raised by the excuses for the stops and the subsequent dog-triggered searches, ticketing, and arrests. The feds insisted the Burning Man connection was pure coincidence, and that this was just part of an existing Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) campaign to stop opiate trafficking in tribal lands.

Now the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the courts are agreeing with those who saw something fishy about the pullovers and arrests. The Washoe County District Attorney's Office "chose not to pursue seven of the nine cases." According to documents obtained by the Gazette-Journal, the district attorney's office said "the cases would not hold up in state court."

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