Hong Kong fashion model Rosemary Vandenbroucke, 28, was one of scores of revelers busted for felony drugs offences at last weekend’s Burning Man Festival after press reports said cops saw her ‘passing a substance to another person’.
Her arrest came as Burning Man barrister David Levin complained that law enforcement are ‘ruining the festival’ by sending in pretty undercover female officers to ask males for drugs, agent-provocateur style, and using sniffer dogs to prowl around camping areas.
"It's a police state out there," Mr Levin told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "There's very little criminal activity at the event, but they cite and arrest people in order to justify their existence,” he explained.
Special agent Mark Pirtle was unrepentant, explaining ‘I don't want my guys to be party poopers, but we have a job to do.”
"Burning Man revellers) are not bad people,” he added, “but they like to use drugs,” he added.
The news of the police tactics matched precisely the warnings provided on Burning Man’s official site which includes a detailed outline describing typical police actions during the 50,000 capacity week long desert event.
“Undercover officers patrol Black Rock City and they use night vision goggles and other technical equipment to detect illegal drug use and trafficking,” the site says.
“Giving illegal substances to someone else could rise to the level of drug trafficking,” they add. “Legal considerations aside, if someone is begging for a gift, then he or she is not in tune with the gifting spirit of Burning Man. Gifts are best when given gratuitously, not when asked for.”
LAW ENFORCEMENT AT BURNING MAN AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS: The more steps you take to make your vehicle or tent private, the more expectation of privacy you will have against an unwarranted search . . .