March 3, 2019

The White House announced Friday that former Bear Lake County Sheriff Brent Bunn has been nominated to serve as the U.S. marshal for Idaho.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Bunn will replace Pocatello native Brian Underwood, who has served as the U.S. marshal for Idaho since 2010.

Underwood was appointed by the administration of President Barack Obama and it is typical for positions such as U.S. marshals assigned to states to be switched whenever a new president is elected.

Bunn’s confirmation will heavily depend on the outcome of his hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Though a date has not yet been determined for that hearing, it will likely occur within a few months.

Bunn has thus far been unavailable for comment on his nomination.

If his appointment is confirmed by the Senate, Bunn would be ending his three year retirement from law enforcement.

Bunn retired in 2016 after 41 years in law enforcement, including 32 years as the Bear Lake County sheriff, the longest anyone has ever held a sheriff’s position in Idaho. Bunn is a Montpelier native who graduated from Bear Lake High School and Brigham Young University. He still resides in Bear Lake County.

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho Falls, said Bunn is definitely qualified to be the U.S. marshal for Idaho.

“Brent’s extensive career serving the people of Idaho as a dispatcher, patrolman, deputy sheriff and sheriff makes him a considerably qualified fit for the U.S. Marshals Service,” Crapo said. “He has earned the respect of his colleagues as demonstrated by his various leadership positions.”

Many local law enforcement officers agree with Crapo’s assessment.

Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland said he is completely confident in Bunn’s ability to serve as the U.S. marshal for Idaho.

“Brent’s a great guy,” Rowland said. “He has great communication skills. He doesn’t have an agenda. I think he’ll do a fabulous job and he’s got the skills to do it.”

In his many years in law enforcement, Bunn has held leadership positions in the Idaho Sheriffs Association, the Idaho Association of Counties and the National Association of Counties, something Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said is a testament to his character.

“He’s from a small part of Idaho, but he is a very, very prominent person,” Nielsen said. “He had just a few deputies (in Bear Lake County), but he was the leader for sure in the Idaho Sheriffs Association.”

Nielsen said he already has some projects in mind that he’d like to work with Bunn on completing if the retired sheriff becomes Idaho’s next U.S. marshal.

According to Nielsen, Bannock County previously had an opportunity to get a contract from the U.S. Marshals Service to house federal prison inmates in the county in exchange for financial assistance from the Marshals Service in building a new Bannock County Jail. However, an agreement couldn’t be reached.

Nielsen said he sees the prospect of a new U.S. Marshal for Idaho taking office as a chance to revive those discussions.

“I’m hoping with (Bunn’s) expertise and knowledge of the area and the need (for a new Bannock County Jail), we can free that money up and be able to use it here locally,” Nielsen said. “And I’m just excited about keeping that close relationship with the marshal’s office. It’s just like a hand and glove. It should fit very, very well.”