Operation Cody by Todd A Vandivert
An Undercover Investigation of Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

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Synopsis

This true story, told in first-person, follows two undercover game wardens as they work to bring down the Pacific Northwest’s wildlife parts black-market. The undercover game wardens, posing as husband and wife, lure commercial poachers into their trap by operating an undercover wildlife business complete with an enticing website. Follow along as the two wardens risk their lives dealing with dangerous criminals, all the while battling their own administration in an effort to keep their investigation running. PROLOGUE: Dictionary.com defines camouflage as: “the act, means, or result of obscuring things to deceive an enemy, as by painting or screening objects so that they are lost to view in the background.” Game wardens across the world are very familiar with camouflage, but perhaps not the type that game warden Jennifer Maurstad and I are attired in this day. The camouflage of the day, for this undercover assignment, is what I refer to as “my good clothes” and requires me to pull on dress slacks, a nice polo shirt and dress shoes; clothes which feel totally foreign to me. Jennifer and I refer to this type of camouflage as “dressing money”. “Dressing money” is required today “to deceive our enemy”, in this case a millionaire illegal wildlife trafficker. We have portrayed ourselves as mid-level traffickers, and must look and act the part. As we head towards the millionaire’s home, to trade in high-value illegal wildlife, we both already look forward to changing into our “trailer trash” clothes for the next stop. Clothing changes are the least of our concerns as we meet with our clients, some of whom are heavily involved in illegal drugs and violent crime. With little support from our own agency, we travel across the northwest, buying and selling hawks, eagles, bighorn sheep, bear parts, caviar, and thousands of pounds of deer and elk meat. As our illegal wildlife business heats up, so do the attacks from within. In the end, we successfully worked our way into the wildlife black-market to an extraordinary level, breaking up both domestic and international poaching rings.
 

About Todd A Vandivert

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Todd Vandivert grew up in the Washington D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia, until his love of the outdoors led him to the northwest. He attended Washington State University, and in 1978 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management, hoping to start a career working in the outdoors. While in college he met Judy whom he married just after graduation. A few years later, Todd and Judy had their daughter- Beth. Todd began his career with the Washington Department of Game in 1979, and has been stationed in three of the six regions of the state. During his career he started the agency's FTO (Field Training Officer) program and has trained around 50 new officers. Todd was the first game warden in the world to design and build a radio-controlled (robotic) deer decoy, now being used in almost every state in the country. He was a Defense Tactics Instructor, as well as a Critical Incident Peer Support Counselor. He has taught classes on ballistic forensics, recognizing false identification, clandestine methamphetamine labs, and wildlife investigations. Todd has also served as a union shop steward and as the editor of the Washington Game Warden Association magazine. He is one of only two officers who have received the WDFW Statewide Officer of the Year award twice. His other awards include; the NWTF Officer of the Year award, the WDFW Case of the Year award, WDFW Detective of the Year award, the Shikar-Safari Club Officer of the Year award, the American Police Hall of Fame award, the Legion of Honor Award, the US Forest Service Award of Merit- Outstanding case, and the NAWEOA (North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association)- Outstanding officer award. Todd, his wife Judy, and their yellow lab, now live in eastern Washington, where they enjoy hunting, fishing and camping in their spare time. More than anything, they enjoy actually having spare time together.
 
Published September 2, 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 358 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math.

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