BLM Special Agents
BLM Special Agents conduct criminal and civil investigations into many different types of crimes committed on public lands or involving public resources. Special Agents actively pursue investigations for cultivation of marijuana, arson, theft of archaeological and paleontological resources, fraud, assault on BLM employees, and a variety of other crimes.
The long term investigations may require the use of undercover officers, informants, surveillance and travel to various locations throughout the United States. BLM Special Agents are plain clothes officers that do not normally wear the BLM law enforcement uniform. BLM Special Agents conduct search warrants and arrest warrants for individuals or businesses that conduct illegal activity on public lands. BLM Special Agents also provide a working liaison with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, other federal and state law enforcement agencies, and assist BLM Law Enforcement Rangers investigating illegal activity on public lands. BLM Special Agents are supervised and report to the various State BLM Special Agents-in-Charge.
BLM Special Agents utilize a range of investigative tools and techniques to resolve a variety of crimes affecting public lands resources. The nature of these investigations can vary considerably depending upon the geographic area in which a Special Agent is assigned. For example, in the southwestern desert a considerable amount of time may be spent investigating archaeological resources theft and trafficking; along the southern border, investigations may focus on the impacts of illegal border crossing and drug smuggling; in urban interface areas, trespass crimes such as hazardous materials dumping are an issue; and, in the northern states, public safety concerns and environmental impacts stemming from large scale marijuana cultivation is a significant problem.
The public lands managed by the BLM are predominantly located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and the Dakotas, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Generally speaking, BLM Special Agents are assigned investigative responsibility for specific public lands within one or more of these states. However, because public lands crime can be broad in scope (such as the interstate transport of archeological artifacts stolen from public lands), investigations may require Special Agents to periodically work outside their assigned areas. In addition, Special Agents may be involved in a variety of activities such as task force investigations, inter-agency operations, security details, or emergency support efforts requiring temporary duty away from their assigned duty station.