Tom Russell was born May 23, 1952 and spent his early years in the movable logging camp of Bates, Oregon, where he caught his first rainbow trout on a fly pole "borrowed" from his grandfather. He graduated from Bend High School in 1970 and joined the United States Navy serving aboard the USS Constellation in Southeast Asia as a member of TACELECWARON SQUARON 134. Upon separation from the military he accepted a position in the United States Forest Service. Two academies later, he began a thirty year career in law enforcement as a criminal investigator.
As a federal special agent, Tom specialized in archaeological theft investigation and was responsible for several of the most successful prosecutions of prolific looters of the public domain in the Pacific Northwest. Throughout his career he was recognized for his demonstrated abilities in arson investigation, developing and teaching others in the craft. In 1995, he joined the newly created Timber Theft Investigation Branch and turned his investigative talent towards the identification and prosecution of “white collar” crime cases. Later, in his career he joined forces with other federal agencies to investigate and disrupt international drug trafficking organizations.
Tom first started writing as a diversion to an otherwise serious lifestyle and soon found it preferable to the routine application for legal process including, but not limited to: search and arrest warrants; and the subsequent report writing that such endeavors necessitate. His first novel, yet to be published, is a non-fictional account of the investigation, identification and subsequent arrest of a serial arsonist. His second and third novels remain in the “trunk”, so to speak. His latest published work is the crime suspense novel, Border Games.
Tom has been recognized as a Master Performer in the investigative field of archaeological preservation. He co-authored, Life Beyond Inventory, submitted and published at the first International Symposium in North America. He has received multiple achievement awards for his completion and subsequent successful prosecution of timber, arson, archaeological, theft, and drug cases. In 1994, he received the prestigious Fifth Annual Joe A. Callaway Award for Civil Courage.
Tom now leads a calmer lifestyle in western Oregon participating in competitive sports such as biathlon, biking, skiing and trap shooting. He is currently working on his next novel, Wooden Nickels.