Investigators: Bundy Ranch Lead Agent Daniel P. Love Stole Evidence
Department of Interior investigators reported that Bureau of Land Management agent Daniel P. Love, who was the head agent at the Bundy Ranch siege in 2014 and was found guilty of misconduct last year, stole valuable stones the were supposed to be evidence and passed them out “like candy” to colleagues and a contractor.
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Consider that Love used his position to get tickets to the pagan Burning Man festival and that he told an employee of his to scrub emails that were requested by former Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz.
Yet, the US Attorney’s Office is declining to file charges against Love, who remains an employee of the BLM.
The Washington Post reports:
The report states that in spring 2016, Love told an employee to take seized stones known as moqui marbles out of an evidence room so he could give them to a contractor who had done work on the facility in Salt Lake City. The rocks are unique geological formations of iron oxide that form in sedimentary rock.
The agency had thousands of rocks that were seized during an investigation into whether they had been collected illegally from a national park, and a professor estimated their retail value at $160,000 to $520,000.
They were stored in dozens of 5-gallon (19-liter) buckets, and Love told an employee to get him four of the best rocks for gifts.
The employee told investigators he had “bad feeling” about taking them from the evidence room, but followed instructions because Love was a law enforcement officer and “scary.” The contractor later returned the marbles.
Several other employees also had the stones, and one told investigators that Love was “giving them out like candy.”
This is not only important because it is criminal, but it is the very crimes for which Love and Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing of the Oregon Bundy protest were alleging Dr. James Redd was engaged in, which led to a wrongful death lawsuit being filed against Love, who was the lead investigator of Redd in 2009.
Red Smith, at Shasta Lantern, summed up what took place in 2009:
In 2009, current Special Agent in Charge of the Malhuer Occupation, Greg Bretzing was the Special Agent in Charge of a massive investigation into the theft of Indian artifacts in the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The investigation centered around the alleged taking of and sale of Indian artifacts from Federal Lands. However those lands, while under BLM management, are public lands and the legality of removing artifacts is still in dispute. The two year long investigation headed by Bretzing culminated in June 2009 when FBI and BLM agents conducted coordinated raids on 24 defendants serving 12 separate indictments.
Here are some of the things that the agents engaged in.
Central to the case was one Ted Gardiner, a former super market chain owner turned drug addict, who was broke and burning furniture to stay warm when he was contacted by the FBI and Special Agent Dan Love, who pressured him into turning informant. Paid $10,000.00 initially, Gardiner would receive $7,500.00 a month for the next two years to covertly film artifact collectors and dealers in an attempt to build the Government’s case. Gardiner was the one that ultimately led to the Redd’s being indicted in the case over a small shell smaller than the size of a dime that was carved into the effigy of a bird. The piece in question had been discovered by the Redd’s on an artifact hunting trip near their home in Blanding, UT. Gardiner arrived at the Redd family home in an attempt to sell what he claimed to be Native artifacts, Jeannie Redd ended up trading the small bird shell for a turquoise pendent Gardiner passed off as being found on Comb Ridge. In fact he had just purchased the item from two meth addicts in a nearby trailer. Special Agent in Charge Bretzing and BLM Agent Love considered this “trafficking in Native Antiquities”. It was these kind of methods of entrapment and outright deception that led to serious questions regarding the case.
The LA Times provided the following information about what later took place:
Nearly a year later, early on the morning of June 10, 2009, Jericca Redd was making breakfast with her mother when, through the kitchen window, she saw movement on the front walk. “Holy cow,” she said. “What is this?” Men in flak jackets moved up the steps, weapons drawn. “Federal agents!” they yelled. She unlatched the door, and the officers shouldered in. “Where’s the white bird?” one shouted. Officers handcuffed Jeannie and kept asking about the white bird. Jim Redd arrived home from his morning rounds 15 minutes later to find half a dozen SUVs in the driveway and agents crouching in the junipers. They hauled him out of his car at gunpoint, handcuffed him and took him to the garage. A BLM special agent interrogated Redd for the next four hours, according to family members. The agent taunted him, pointing to garden tools and asking, “Which shovel do you like to dig bodies with?” He told Redd he would lose his medical license for illegally removing an ancient artifact from the Navajo reservation.
The agents searched the Redds’ home until late that day. Jericca said Love told her 140 agents were in and out of the house. A neighbor said snipers were perched on the roof. They seized computers and the artifacts listed in the search warrant, all except the white bird. When they departed, it was sitting unnoticed on the bottom shelf of Jeannie’s display case.
To commemorate the occasion, the task force minted over-sized coins with the words “Cerberus Action” and an image of the three-headed hell-hound.
During the investigation, Gardiner had spent $335,685 buying 256 artifacts — both illegal and legal. He was the only person connecting all 28 defendants. No charges were filed against the biggest collectors.
What’s interesting is that Operation Cerberus is the name given to a dash up the English Channel by three major warships of the German Navy – the Scharnhorst, the Gneisenau and the Prinz Eugen after Hitler ordered that they should return to Germany in February 1942.
“Special Agent in Charge Bretzing’s link to this case is troubling in light of the accusations of wrongdoing and excessive tactics that mirror the current situation in Burns, Or. and the circumstances surrounding the death of LaVoy Finicum,” wrote Smith. “Now enter into the equation the question of Indian Artifacts at the Malhuer Reserve and accusations that occupiers were defiling them and one must begin to become suspect.”
“Considering Agent Bretzing’s connection to another investigation, one involving the FBI and fraud, corruption and National Security Leaks out of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Office, it is a downright frightening pattern,” added Smith. “Throw Bretzing’s ties to BLM Agent Dan Love and Love’s connection to the Bundy’s into this circus of similar coincidences and that pattern begins to crystallize. Where FBI Agent Greg Bretzing goes, questions of corruption, fraud, strong arm tactics and death will follow.”
For more on that story, I recommend what is the most thorough list of what took place during that time in 2009 provided by the family of Dr. Redd by clicking here.
The defendants in the Bundy Ranch case were barred from pointing out any of this criminal evidence in court as Love is really the government’s star witness, but they won’t let him take the stand for fear they will look worse than they do after facing two humiliating losses already, and seeking a third.
#GoogleDanLove has taken off on Facebook and Twitter because of Daniel Love’s corruption and the ongoing trials and imprisonment of Bundy Ranch defendants.
The more that the hashtag is used and the searches are done, the more the stories come up that bring the evidence that Daniel P. Love should be where the Bundy defendants are, in jail awaiting trial.