Federal Law Enforcment

Bulldozing jurisdictional lines....

"I don't want to wait until we have another Ruby Ridge or Waco, Texas, before I disassociate myself with a bunch of authoritarians."

- Owyhee County, Idaho, Sheriff Tim Nettleton telling federal law enforcement agents to get out of his county in 1995.

The following are selected excerpts from Rachel's Dahl's "Federal Cops" article found in Range Magazine, Summer 2019.

The difference between the thin blue line – local police who protect and serve and answer directly to their own communities – and the 130 federal agencies which hire law enforcement agents over and above the jurisdiction of our local sheriffs is keeping us in the red. Besides completely blowing through constricts of the constitution, creating powerful unelected “special agents,” and growing a police force that would make King George shudder, the costs of this effort add to our unmanageable deficit and have reached outrageous proportions.

Originally, citizens and communities relied on sheriffs for law enforcement. Over the years these locally elected sheriffs have found common ground working with the state highway patrol and the federal agencies that were specifically authorized for various duties under the Department of Justice… With the evolution and growth of federal power, not only do the agencies in the DOJ and DHS have law enforcement authority, but now that authority, including the ability to use firearms and make arrests, has been given to employees throughout the federal agencies, including the BLM, Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Department of Agriculture. We now have and are funding 120,000 law enforcement officers at the federal level.

Taxpayers bear the costs for law enforcement in their local communities as well as funding their state law enforcement agencies….Besides the personal and social costs of this heavy-handed, duplicative law enforcement, we are also paying exorbitant fees for these services. In 2018, the BLM budgeted $25.4 million just for law enforcement activities, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service budgeted $38 million, and the National Park Service added $363 million. Each of these agencies fall under the Department of Interior, which houses a total of nine bureaus, all of which have some law enforcement component and budget.

Tax payer dollars are not the only costs associated with federal law enforcement.

Ramona Hage Morrison, whose family ranch was raided by the U.S. Forest Service in 1991. After the grazing permits were canceled, armed agents seized 104 head of cattle at gunpoint without due process, hauling off the Hage family livelihood in cattle trucks and without consulting the Nye County Sheriff.

Christopher Kortlander owns the Custer Battlefield Museum in Montana and was raided by the BLM twice – once in 2005 and again in 2008 – with M-16 rifles and battering rams. BLM agents accompanied by FBI raided his museum with a search warrant looking for evidence of mail fraud. They never charged him with a crime, but did tie him up in legal battles that lasted until 2014. Ultimately, after nine years of litigation, he was successful in regaining the 22 artifacts government agents had confiscated.


Dan Love, special agent in charge of the BLM’s Operation Cerberus Action, simultaneously raided 12 locations around the Four Corners in 2009… A beloved small town doctor, James Redd, was held by 50 armed agents in his garage for almost a day as a part of a warrant served regarding an artifact eventually found to be worth no more than $75.


BLM Removes Top Law Enforcement Official

E&E News

New Report Faults Controversial BLM Agent for Mishandling Evidence

Office of Inspector General Claims BLM Law Enforcement Officer Dan Love Misappropriated Evidence, Dodged Requests from Congress and Destroyed Federal Records

Salt Lake Tribune

Federal Cops

Just about every government agency has its guts with guns

Range Magazine