Operation Cody: An Undercover Investigation of Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

Operation Cody: An Undercover Investigation of Illegal Wildlife Trafficking
Author: Todd A. Vandivert
Language English
Pages: 360
ISBN10: 1484148371
Genre: Nonfiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.40
ISBN13: 9781484148372
Published: September 2nd 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

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.