Many remember Dan Love as the head law enforcement officer during the Cliven Bundy standoff in rural Nevada. In 2009, however, Love was part of Operation Cerebrus — a major law enforcement sweep targeting artifacts traffickers in the Four Corners region.
An investigative report released last week by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is now shedding light on what Love’s involvement might have been in missing moqui marbles from the Moab, Monticello and Blanding areas.
The OIG investigated several allegations against Love, a senior law enforcement officer with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES). According to the report, Love mishandled evidence, in the form of spheroidal iron oxide marbles that were seized as part of the 2009 investigation.
During his time as head of Operation Cerebrus, Love allegedly directed an employee to improperly remove several of the seized marbles from the OLES evidence room and give them to the senior manager. The senior manager also allegedly gave marbles as gifts to several people.
After the BLM received requests for emails and documents concerning an investigation into Love, he allegedly directed an employee to review his official BLM email account and delete any that depicted him unfavorably.
“We did not substantiate the allegation that documents had been deliberately deleted from the Google drive,” states a press release from Department of the Interior. “[An] OLES budget analyst told us she deleted documents from the drive the day before she learned about the congressional request, but we did not find that she had intended to obstruct the inquiry. We also did not find that anyone, including [Love] or members of BLM leadership, had ordered the documents deleted.”
During the OIG investigation, allegations also came to light that OLES documents were intentionally deleted from a BLM shared Google drive Love had access to — the day before a congressional request was received for them.
The investigation ultimately revealed that Love instructed his employee to remove the marbles from the evidence room and give them to him, which violated BLM and U.S. Department of the Interior evidence policy, and that Love then gave marbles to several people, including BLM employees and a contractor who had worked on a project in the OLES office.
As a result, the OIG determined that Love violated federal security and records management policies, as well as regulations and guidance related to the conduct of BLM employees.
Love declined to be interviewed by investigators during the OIG investigation.