I got approached by an undercover cop. The whole episode really annoyed me, as it was clearly a case of attempted entrapment and it was a blemish on what was otherwise one of the most amazing days of my life.
It was just after sunrise, on the outskirts of the playa - I was at Robot Heart (the sunrise set). I was rolling a cigarette (just tobacco), when this guy walks up. He did a pretty good job of impersonating a burner (the a-holes have been practicing), which is quite scary. A couple things gave him away, but if I had not seem him walking around (or if I was even slightly drunk), I probably wouldn't have noticed. I'm not going to say what the give-away signs were, as I'm sure these guys are trawling these forums, trying to improve their tactics, but as other people have said, look carefully, and trust no-one that just approaches you. The conversation is as below.
Cop: Hey man..can I get few cigarette rolling papers from you?
Me: Sure. How many do you want?
Cop: 3 would be awesome.
I give him 3 rolling papers
Cop: Thanks bro
Me: No problem:
Cop: Let me pay you for the papers
Me: No way. It's only 3 papers and its Burning Man, you're supposed to gift things
Cop: I should give you something though bro. I have some Candy.
Cop: I have Candy and Hash. Why don't I trade you the Candy and the Hash, for the rolling papers?
Me: No thanks.
Cop: No really, let me trade you the papers for the Hash.
Me: No thanks. I don't use illegal substances
At which point he slithered away. A few hours later I saw him with his uniformed colleagues, with a walkie-talkie in his hand.
Everyone, please be careful.If a random person comes asking to sell/buy/trade illegal substances, you should assume they are law enforcement. In this case, his asking to 'trade', was clever, as it may not come across as a 'buy' when they say it, but from a legal perspective, its pretty much the same.
On a side note, my friend was stopped twice by the police, within 10 minutes, as he was leaving the playa. First time the cop told him he was driving over the limit (he was driving at 7mph). The cop let him go after sniffing around. 10 minutes later my friend got stopped by another cop – this time for going to slow. (3pmh) Same thing.