When Lucinda Delaney Schroeder graduated from the University of Maryland in 1974 with a degree in Criminology, she quickly hit the road that had never been traveled. She became the first woman field investigator (special agent) hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement. Her job was to enforce the many federal conservation laws designed to protect migratory birds, endangered species, marine mammals and many other forms of wildlife. As it turned out, each case created twists in her life along with unexpected excitement and hazards.
With badge and gun in hand, Lucinda was not initially welcomed into the male-
dominated cadre of law enforcement officers that had filled the agency since its inception in 1940. Also, it was illegal for women to carry a firearm in federal service prior to 1972. Under an atmosphere of unrelenting resistance from her male colleagues, Lucinda persevered and went on to prove herself as an able wildlife criminal investigator as well as a fine sharpshooter.
As part of her work she stopped eagle poachers who used traps, bullets and poisons to kill these birds for their feathers. She arrested people who smuggled ivory, rhino horns, parrots, and rare reptiles from countries all around the world. Big game poachers became her trophies in federal court. In one case she arrested smugglers of endangered butterflies who were exploiting these specimens for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In another case she caught a cheetah poacher who smuggled illegal hides from Africa into the U.S. Her cases stopped the illegal use of endangered species body parts in Chinese medicinals in New York and San Francisco. Over her thirty-year career she worked hundreds of cases for wildlife—each one of them unique.
Lucinda received numerous awards for her case work and was recognized as one the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Top Ten Employees,” in 1993. After a long and productive career, she retired in 2004.
Lucinda’s writing career began in 2004 when she wrote about her most challenging undercover case in which she infiltrated an international poaching ring in Alaska. Her book A Hunt for Justice-The True Story of a Woman Wildlife Undercover Agent, details each aspect of this true story in which she was pitted against the wilderness and surrounded by outlaws who could have killed her in an instant.
In her second book, Plunder of the Ancients,–A True Story of Betrayal, Redemption and an Undercover Quest to Recover Native American Sacred Artifacts, Lucinda goes undercover again to infiltrate a criminal enterprise out to exploit Native American cultural patrimony for money. Lucinda travels a dangerous road to get to the perpetrators and almost lost. According to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, this is a story that must be told!
Lucinda was born in the Philippines of military parents. She has lived in Spain and in many parts of the United States. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband who is a wildlife biologist. Lucinda likes to hike to old Indian sites, scuba dive and travel.