BLM Agent Dan Love: A cruel and unusual history
by Marjorie Haun
In another instance, SA Dan Love was with another agent in the Provo, Utah, apartment of Jamaica Redd Lyman, along with Dr. Redd’s widow, Jeanne, and two other daughters. During the course of their conversation, daughter, Jericca asked SA Love why he thought her father did what he did. SA Love responded coldly, “I think he took one for the team.” Agent Love also told Jeanne and her daughters that he had read all of Dr. Redd’s private journals, and detailed many of the private thoughts and concerns Dr. Redd had for each of his children and his wife. SA Love even criticized the ‘poor penmanship’ of Dr. Redd.
Dan Love, the Bureau of Land Management agent now under investigation by the agency’s own Inspector General’s office for egregious ethics violations related to the 2016 Burning Man festival in Nevada, has a history of cruel and ruthless behavior which predates the current uproar over his thuggish tactics. Prior to Love’s involvement in the failed raid on the Bundy Ranch in April of 2014, he lead the 2009 federal antiquities sting, ‘Operation Cerberus Action’ in southeastern Utah. This sting, which took several years and climaxed with federal raids by hundreds of armed BLM and FBI officers on dozens of homes, also lead to the deaths of 4 men involved in the case.
Dr. James Redd, a beloved father, church leader and community physician, became a suspect in Operation Cerberus, and took his own life following a day of harsh and inhumane treatment by agents under the direction of Special Agent (SA) Dan Love. These are the accounts of Dr. Redd’s children and associates who witnessed Love’s activities and interacted with him in Blanding, Utah, the epicenter for Operation Cerberus, and other locations during the course of the investigation.
Operation Cerberus Action: The Aftermath
- The night following the raid on his home, after hours of cruel treatment by federal officers, and his arrest and arraignment before a federal judge in Moab, Utah, Dr. Redd recorded a message for his family. About 40 minutes in length, the message expressed his love for his wife and children, and delivered individual messages to each family member. James Redd spoke at length about his love for, and testimony of, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was central to his Latter-day Saint (Mormon) faith, and the importance of living right. But within his loving farewell, Redd made the case for taking his own life, saying that with all the trumped-up charges and so-called evidence the government claimed to have against him and his family, “there will be one less charge to contend with.” The ‘one charge’ to which Dr. Redd was referring was a felony charge related to a tiny Indian bead he once picked up off the ground and kept at his home as a curiosity. As lead officer in the operation, SA Dan Love asserted that the 1/4 inch bead was worth $1,000, and Dr. Redd’s possession of it broke laws governing the trade of Native American antiquities, when, in fact, the actual appraised value of the bead was around $75. Approximately 24 hours after BLM agent Dan Love and armed federal officers raided his family home, Dr. Redd asphyxiated himself in his jeep.
The Redd family has always taken their Latter-day Saint (Mormon) faith very personally, and people who know them understand it is a serious aspect of their lives. About a month after Dr. Redd’s death, SA Dan Love, BLM agent Brent Range, and an FBI agent returned to the home of James and Jeanne Redd. While there, SA Love noticed a picture of the Latter-day Saint Prophet, Joseph Smith, on the kitchen table and said to Jeanne and Jericca, “It’s good you have his picture there, keep praying to him.” Anyone familiar with Latter-day Saint practices, which includes nearly everyone in southeastern Utah, know that Joseph Smith is not a subject of worship, but is revered as a leader and prophet. Love’s mention of ‘praying to Joseph Smith’ appears to have been a sadistic jab at the very tender religious feelings of Jeanne and Jericca.
- SA Dan Love worked with the key informant in the case, Ted Gardiner, who spent time at the Redds’ home wearing a hidden camera in order to gather information about their alleged trade of artifacts. The deceptive and ruthless activities of Love and Gardiner ultimately led to the death of Dr. Redd. During the aforementioned meeting which occurred at the Redd home, SA Love received a phone call, and after hanging up callously commented to Jericca that he had just spoken to the “secret informant” Ted Gardiner, and then complained that Gardiner wanted more money for his work in gathering information on James and Jeanne Redd.
- As SA Love and agent Range were leaving the Redd home following the meeting, while standing in the garage, SA Love gave Dr. Redd’s 3 year old grandson, Sebastian, a child’s BLM badge and told the toddler he could call him “Uncle Dan.” Little Sebastian, who idolized his ‘Poppy’ probably did not comprehend that the man whose actions led to the death of his beloved ‘Poppy’ wanted him to call him “Uncle Dan.” It’s hard for the adult mind to comprehend any words or actions more intentionally fiendish.
- A few months following Dr. Redd’s death, SA Dan Love demanded a meeting with Redd’s daughter, Jericca, at the Old Tymer Restaurant in Blanding, reportedly to discuss an obscure email Redd’s wife, Jeanne, had allegedly sent. During this meeting , however, the email was never discussed. But at one point SA Love asked Jericca about how her family was doing. Jericca politely tried to tell him they were not doing well, at which point, Love proudly stated, “I know why your mom hates me, I’m the reason your dad is gone.” Ironically, Love then urged Jericca to not “give into the hate (of Love and the BLM and FBI officers involved in the raids) like the town of Blanding has done.”
- In another instance, SA Dan Love was with another BLM agent, Brent Range, in the Provo, Utah, apartment of Jamaica Redd Lyman, along with Dr. Redd’s widow, Jeanne, and two other daughters. During the course of their conversation, daughter, Jericca asked SA Love why he thought her father did what he did. SA Love responded coldly, “I think he took one for the team.” Agent Love also told Jeanne and her daughters that he had read all of Dr. Redd’s private journals, and detailed many of the private thoughts and concerns Dr. Redd had for each of his children and his wife. SA Love even criticized the ‘poor penmanship’ of Dr. Redd. In his ignorance, it appears that SA Love failed to understand that, as with most physicians, Dr. Redd used shorthand and medical abbreviations in much of his writing. According to the family’s account, during this same meeting, SA Dan Love boasted that he did not need to follow the posted speed limit because his status as a federal agent put him above such laws.
- During a two day discussion with SA Dan Love and others at the BLM office in Salt Lake City, Dr. Redd’s daughter, Jericca, noticed maps and photos of Operation Cerberus defendants on the walls. As she sat down she noticed another map with a photo on the floor that had appeared to have been pulled off of the wall. She saw that the picture was of her father Dr. Redd and asked Dan Love why it was there on the floor. According to her account, SA Love shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah we need to get rid of that.” Yet, the following day, the picture was still on the floor. At the end of the emotional two-day meeting, while still in the presence of Dr. Redd’s widow, Jeanne, and daughter, Jericca, and their attorney, SA Dan Love and another BLM agent, Brent Range, jokingly started throwing tennis balls at each other. One of the tennis balls actually hit the Redd’s attorney.
- When Jeanne Redd filed a wrongful death lawsuit against those involved in actions which resulted in her husband’s death, SA Love opted to lie about his relationship with Dr. James Redd. A Deseret News article about the lawsuit read, in part: “His widow, Jeanne, said in a wrongful death suit filed in May, that FBI and BLM agents’ “excessive, overreaching and abusive treatment” pushed her husband to suicide. She claims that agents “manhandled” her husband and interrogated him for hours in the garage. But Love said it didn’t appear that Dr. Redd had any animosity or anger toward authorities as a result of the investigation or the way he was treated that day. In fact, he said Redd shook his hand and thanked him for being treated with respect and dignity.” According to the family’s account, Redd never made such a statement to Love, and it was Love’s attempt to dodge culpability related to the protracted and brutal interrogation of Dr. Redd. Although Love at times took part in the hours-long questioning, the interrogation itself was directed by Dan Barnes, the BLM special agent hand-picked by Love to extract information from James Redd.
- For his work with Operation Cerberus, which ended with 4 lives lost; 3 to suicide and one to a drug overdose, SA Dan Love was awarded “Special Agent of the Year 2009” by the Bureau of Land Management. In the words from the BLM “year end review” journal: “Agent Love was selected for the award because of his outstanding work conducting investigations in the protection of renewable and non-renewable resources…..The investigation could not have been completed without the unparalleled dedication of Agent Love…..Special Agent Love’s exemplary effort on this investigation has brought great credit upon him and the BLM.” Sometime after the military-style raids in southeastern Utah, Dan Love was given promotions, and by September 5, 2014 he was head of BLM law enforcement in Utah and Nevada. SA Love directed the paramilitary raid on the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada in April of 2014. Hundreds of armed agents, many in full body armor and armed with automatic weapons, swarmed onto the Bundy Ranch. The raid was initially an attempt to confiscate cattle, but escalated into a tense standoff with hundreds of locals and ranchers, many on horseback, who arrived at the ranch to protect Bundy’s herds. After agents killed several dozen head of cattle and disabled the watering system on the ranch, the federal raid was called off.
There are many more accounts by the family and associates of Dr. James Redd, perhaps the most notable of SA Dan Love’s many victims. These accounts of cruel, childish, dishonest, self-serving actions on the part of SA Dan Love confirm news reports of the last several days about the disreputable U.S. Marshall-turned-BLM Special Agent. It’s impossible not to draw parallels between the arrogance of Dan Love, with that of the agency he represents, especially when it comes to holding himself above the laws under which the rest of us must live.
The years-long ordeal of the Redd family, which is the result, in large part, of the ego-driven actions of Love and others in the BLM, will never fully be reconciled for them. But there is a hope among all the individuals and families victimized, indeed terrorized, by Special Agent Dan Love, that his cruel and unusual federal ‘law-enforcement’ tactics will soon be coming to an end.
Edited to update links, 11/04/2020