Home > Events > Burning Man > By Order of the Feds: Burners Getting Pulled Over by Law Enforcement Through Nixon

By Order of the Feds: Burners Getting Pulled Over by Law Enforcement Through Nixon

By Bob Conrad
Burning Man aerial. Image; Wikipedia Commons.

Driving through Nixon, Nev. has allegedly slowed as police are searching vehicles heading to Burning Man that may have drugs on board.

Opiates in particular, according to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s Secretary Brenda Henry.

“If you don’t have anything to hide, you’re good to go,” Henry told ThisisReno.

She said that officers are following direction from “the top” — the U.S. Department of the Interior down through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to crack down on drugs.

“You mean from President Trump?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said and then deferred further questions to tribal police.

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s chief of police did not return a call for comment by the time of publication.

Burners are warning one another about the pullovers on social media.

“The rumors are true!” wrote one person in a private burner Facebook group. “Take extreme caution getting to Burning Man. The police are waiting for you, far more (than) usual. Follow all traffic laws.

“There are many law enforcement agencies wanting to pull you over. We were just thoroughly searched in Nixon.”

Another report:

“A friend of mine stopped to mail something in Nixon. The cops blocked him them in, claimed the didn’t see any signal and asked about drugs. The did not consent to search, after which police claimed their dogs alerted on their truck. Police took apart their trailer and part of their truck. They were there for over two. Be careful out there, burners, and don’t stop in Nixon.”

The stops appear to have been going on for days as people are starting to head to the playa for the 2018 burn. There are a number of threads on Reddit about the stops: https://www.reddit.com/r/BurningMan/



Shirley August 22, 2018 - 3:37 pm

From Burning Man’s own website –
“Upon reaching the Gate your tickets will be torn and your car searched. If you pack accordingly (and yes, we will want to get to the back of your box truck and have you open that big container) it will make it easier on everyone, which means you get through faster. If you have a large vehicle or a lot of stuff, we appreciate it when you help us during the search. Plan ahead and know what items are prohibited.”

Soooooooo it’s NOT unconstitutional when Burner staff searches your vehicle only when BIA does it? That’s tribal land, BTW….the rules there are a bit different than non federal jurisdictions.

PEParker August 24, 2018 - 1:45 pm

The Fourth Amendment is a constraint on the power of government: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” In selling a ticket to an event, however, a private party may set conditions, including consent to a search. A private party is not the government, and consent can be included in the transaction as part of a private contract.

jane lightwaryr August 22, 2018 - 6:58 am

Burners, welcome to the Rainbow Gathering experience. The LEOs have been harassing us with faux drug dog searches for years.

cl dickinson August 21, 2018 - 8:24 am

But of course… Burners = $$$$ No use arrested some junkie…. have to house them, feed them try and rehabilitate them. Ahhhh but yuppies… have jobs, must go to work (cant fight tickets)… KAAAACHINGGGG…. Just another form of taxation… (so burners should actually be happy.. your supporting the”community”…..)
I could tie this into all the gun laws ONLY enforced on those who can pay the fines & lawyers (whens the last time you saw a gang-banger arrested for JUST a weapons violation)? BUT… when you tie civil liberties & freedoms to “fines fees and permits”…. who do you thing wins?

Genna August 20, 2018 - 6:37 pm

Sorry, meant “Casey”, not “Dave”

Casey Weathers August 20, 2018 - 4:15 pm

Pfft ha ha ha ha. Insignificant or not, the Supreme Court has ruled as long as a peace officer has probable cause to pull you over his objective reasoning for why he’s pulling you over is he relevant. Don’t speak on behalf of all citizens of Nevada. Keep your Tourism money and keep your high profile party and take your drugs with you. There is a reason law enforcement ce meant is pulling people over. Years and years of overdoses and deaths have come to this, deal with it or please don’t come!

Dave August 20, 2018 - 6:25 pm

The majority of people who have been pulled over and searched without consent, via K-9 manufactured “probable cause” , have not had anything illegal in their vehicles. So if you are ok with profiling, illegal searches and detainments , then that is your issue. Please don’t speak on behalf of all Nevadans either. Civil rights laws are being violated, as law abiding citizens are having their vehicles scratched by K9s , their stuff tossed all over the road, and hours of their time wasted. What kind of public service is this?

Jenna August 20, 2018 - 6:36 pm

“Dave”, towns like Nixon and Gerlach would have died years ago if not for Burning Man. Know what you’re talking about before exposing your ignorance.

andy August 20, 2018 - 9:59 pm

Dave, there’s less crime and injury at 2 weeks of burning man than 3 hours of one of your football games. You are ignorant. Ask Nixon, Empire, Gerlach, Reno, if they want the millions and millions of dollars to go away.

Rubella August 20, 2018 - 3:39 pm

What’s ridiculous is that this isn’t the Burning Man event week, it’s the time when it’s only staff members heading up who actually work at the event, not the “party goers”. The cops are taking *everything* out of people’s vehicles and even going so far to remove door panels and light covers, then leaving everything for you to put back together. Completely ridiculous. Document your experience and fill out a feedback form here: lawyersforburners (dot) com.

Ryan August 20, 2018 - 6:55 pm

A significant number of attendees head up during build week. People who build theme camps and art cars are themselves attendees.

Dave August 20, 2018 - 2:59 pm

Make no mistake, the BIA and Highway Patrol are manufacturing probable cause by subtly encouraging their K-9 units to “alert” after they have profiled people going to Butning Man. They profile the individuals and then detain (stop) them for ridiculous reasons such as: bike rack (which inevitably obscures the license plate) , going 1-5 mph over the speed limit, not stopping for an undercover officer at a crosswalk (who then calls ahead for a pullover), and other insignificant “violations” , all in an attempt to make money from citations for a user group that has historically been a good neighbor, and provided local communities with tourism money related to the event. This is a civil rights infringement.

Elaine Hoem August 20, 2018 - 2:02 pm

The Gestapo has arrived in Nevada.

Comments are closed.

Share via
Send this to a friend