Daniel P. Love, the Bureau of Land Management’s Special Agent in Charge (SAC) at Bundy Ranch in 2014, is now getting more exposure of misconduct that led to him being suspended in 2016, something that prosecutors in the case desperately tried to keep hidden from the defense, the jury and the court, just like they did an Inspector General’s report that found Love guilty of misconduct, which we reported on in February.
In November 2016, the internal affairs office at the Bureau of Land Management began an investigation into Love. Deb Jordan at Guerilla Media Network reports:
According to records, a memorandum from The US Department of The Interior dated November 2nd, 2016 and signed by the BLM Director of Law Enforcement Security Salvatore R. Lauro , was issued to SAC Love informing him of his immediate suspension from duty and directing him to turn in his uniforms, badges, and government issued firearms. Love was also stripped of his Law Enforcement Authority.
The first offense on record was, that on more than one occasion Love ordered a subordinate to drive a government issued vehicle to run personal errands for Love, and have it washed and cleaned out. There have been some outside reports that the subordinate also found ancient indian artifacts in Love’s vehicle during this process, but the most egregious allegation was still to come.
After a raid on the Redd Family of Blanding, Utah, that also involved several other collectors of ancient indian artifacts in the surrounding area, Love demanded the Utah Department of The Interior Evidence Custodian to retrieve several of the artifacts from the evidence room so he could display them on his desk. The internal investigation also states that Love gave at least several BLM Agents and one private contractor “Moqui Marbles” to keep as a trophy after the 2009 raid he and FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing called, Operation Cerberus.
Operation Cerberus was an interesting choice to refer to their tyrannical operation. It refers to a World War II incident that took place in February 1942 when three German warships, who were trapped in Brest harbour by the Britsh in the English Channel, were ordered to return to Germany by Adolph Hitler and they made a dash up complied though the move was fraught with danger.
In case you are not familiar with the case of the Redd family and the story there, please read about it here and here. Additionally, Greg Bretzing was the Special Agent in Charge in Oregon at the Malheur Wildlife Reserve Protest, which later resulted in the arrest of several men, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy and Pete Santilli, along with the ambush and murder of LaVoy Finicum.
Outgoing Congressman and Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) penned a letter in February to Mary Kendall, Deputy Inspector General of the US Department of the Interior about the investigation into Daniel Paul Love after the department received “numerous complaints” concerning Love.
Chaffetz wrote that a report from her office titled “Investigative Report of Ethical Violations and Misconduct by Bureau of Land Management Officials” documented “numerous instances of troubling behavior exhibited by Love.”
Rep. Chaffetz went on to write, “One such instance involved the intentional withholding of documents responsive to a congressional inquiry.”
According to the Interior Department’s report, a witness told investigators that after Congress had requested documents, he heard Dan Love tell another BLM employee to “make sure he scrubbed the emails before he sent them, you know, flagging anything that looked inappropriate so that [Dan Love] could remove them if needed.”
Another witness said that hundreds of documents were deleted by the BLM, which were “team documents” and they were used as a “historical record or administrative record” for a BLM authorized event. That witness claims those documents were subject to the Federal Records Act, and under law, are not to be destroyed.
Chaffetz warned that if the claims of the witness were substantiated, it would be a federal crime and obstruction of a congressional investigation or falsify, conceal or cover up a material fact in one.
The deletion of the files occurred just one day prior to receiving a congressional request for those very records. Conspiracy, anyone?
“BLM Director Neil Kornze is suspected of giving Agent Love the ‘heads-up’ before that investigation could take place, prompting him to destroy the most critical documents the IGO was looking for,” writes Jordan. “During the first trial for Bundy co-defendants, Toni Ziminski, the communications director for the Bundy cattle confiscation, admitted she shredded documents at the compound and somehow lost vital recorded records of radio transmissions because somehow the hard drive that ran the recording device had mysteriously come unplugged. Ziminski was never asked if Dan Love had told her to shred vital documents nor was she asked if Dan Love had asked her to unplug the hard-drive. Both would have been fair questions had the defense known Daniel P. Love had given that order before.”
Additionally, the report documented that Love allegedly attempted to influence the outcome of the Interior Department’s investigation by coaching a witness in advance of an interview with investigators.
“As a federal law enforcement officer, Love’s actions have the potential to not only taint your investigation but to seriously undermine the trust in the BLM’s law enforcement office and thwart congressional oversight of the Bureau,” wrote Chaffetz.
18 U.S. Code § 1505 states:
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress-
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.
Additionally, 18 U.S. Code § 1001 adds:
(a) Excempt as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully-
- flasifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a meterial fact;
- makes any materially false, ficititious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
- makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, ficititious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title [or] imprisoned not more than 5 years.
Now, that is the Interior Department, Daniel P. Love and the Bureau of Land Management. However, it appears that the corruption seeps down even to the federal judge in the Bundy Ranch case, Judge Gloria Navarro and federal prosecutors. Jordan, who has been covering the trials since before they began wrote:
Former Secret Service Agent Rand Stover turned BLM Agent, took the stand in early February during what the Press has dubbed “The Bundy Ranch Trials” in a feeble attempt to begin what would be a long line of BLM and FBI agents who ineffectively tried to become, “the Prosecution and Judge approved” stymied voice of Daniel P. Love. Because the Prosecution had hidden the facts surrounding the OIG investigation and pending Congressional inquiry, the defense was ill prepared to ask Agent Stover whether or not he too was involved in the investigations.
The record reflects Agent Stover was a vital participant in the scheme to help Dan Love ensure the employment of a former US Marshal and their friend, Mark Jucha, to the BLM. Stover was in charge of the interviewing process that allowed only the top 10 applicants to interview for the job; Jucha was not among the top 10. Love, with help from Stover, suspended the rules of hiring to include the top 30 applicants and made it possible for Jucha to be interviewed and hired over those who were better qualified for the job. Stover would later admit that he followed the order of Daniel P. Love to expand the interview process to include Mark Jucha because after all, “Love was the Special Agent in Charge”
Since the Bundy Ranch trial began prosecutors and Judge Gloria Navarro have been accused of at least five incidents of prosecutorial misconduct linking them to withholding evidence, that resulted in the Jury not hearing the facts surrounding the case; two of those directly involve the cover-up of the investigation of the Inspector General, and the United States Congress inquiry into the misconduct of Daniel P. Love to which he was eventually found guilty.
During the trial the revelation that co-defendant Gregory Burleson had once been a paid FBI informant and that two of his former handlers had taken the stand to testify for the prosecution, set off an explosion for motions to dismiss the case based on the fact Burleson and his attorney Terrance Jackson had been allowed to attend meetings with other co-defendants and Cliven Bundy himself, where case strategy had been discussed. The motions were denied.
On Thursday, I reported that FBI undercover agent Charles Johnson was arrested in Colorado for impersonating a private investigator, but was allowed to testify in the first round of the Bundy Ranch trials without any of this being made known.
Daniel P. Love has basically been barred from the courtroom in being called as a witness by either the prosecution or the defense. Why? Is it to cover up his misconduct at Bundy Ranch? Is it to demonstrate that the central government is even more corrupt than we might imagine?
Love doesn’t just deserve to lose his job, he deserves to lose his liberty over his misconduct and never work in any capacity of law enforcement again.
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