Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Bundy witness BLM won't talk about

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter

As federal prosecutors seek to convict Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy for his role in a near-violent standoff two years ago with the Bureau of Land Management, they'll likely turn to a brawny special agent named Dan Love.

...Testimony from Love, with his eye-level view of the standoff, could be key to the government's successful prosecution of Bundy; his sons Ammon, Ryan, Mel and Dave; and other alleged standoff leaders including Ryan Payne and Pete Santilli.

...Love, who has been described as muscular, tall and quick-witted, is both loved and reviled in Nevada and Utah, where he's BLM's top cop. He worked for the Federal Air Marshal Service from 2002 to 2006 and has been with BLM for roughly a decade, based in Salt Lake City.

Critics say Love has a massive ego and lacks the gravitas needed to navigate the red-hot politics of federal land management in those states.

...Love's credibility and reputation will be key if he's called to the witness stand in the Bundy case. The Justice Department said it plans to call between 30 and 45 witnesses and present more than a terabyte of evidence.

BLM refused to allow Love, his law enforcement superiors or its state directors to comment for this article. Nor would BLM answer basic questions about Love's professional resume -- when he was hired, his age, where he previously worked and his law enforcement qualifications.

...BLM's silence in the face of Love's critics is puzzling given the high stakes in the Bundy case and the desire of many BLM employees to see Bundy behind bars.

This is an interesting read and well worth your time.

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