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The Two-Edged Sword
Donald W. Tucker

Dog Ear Publishing

For Donald W. Tucker, life from the get-go was a two-edged sword—a “damned if you do/ damned if you don’t” black & white shades & wing-tips jungle existence of working the streets of Southside Chicago undercover (“with no cover”) as a Federal narcotics and Secret Service agent. Tucker was quick, sharp and street smart.


The Two-Edged Sword is a grim, gutsy, raw in-your-face first-hand account of what it was like to be Black and work as an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now called the DEA), and United States Secret Service from 1961-1990—some of the toughest years in this country’s history of Civil Rights.

Tucker’s life story reads like a best-selling 007 whodunit, more fiction than fact—yet all of it really happened.

“Too many times the risks were far greater than anticipated, but I was young and dumb,” writes Tucker. “I didn’t know what I was doing until I felt a .45 slammed against my head.

When your life is a two-edged sword, you learn to tread carefully or to live with the consequences. This gritty, first-hand account tells what it was like to be black and work as an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA) and U.S. Secret Service during the civil rights movement and beyond. Tucker rose through the ranks to become one of this country’s foremost Federal Law Enforcement Administrators and reformers.

The Two-Edged Sword tells Tucker’s story starting with growing up on the Southside of Chicago to his work as an undercover agent for the Chicago Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the discrimination he faced.


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Donald W. Tucker began his career with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in Chicago, Illinois, in 1961. He transferred from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics to the Chicago office of the United States Secret Service in 1965. He remained an agent in Chicago until 1973, when he was transferred to the San Francisco office of the Secret Service. Mr. Tucker remained in the San Francisco office until 1974, when he was promoted to the position of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division for the Washington, DC, field office. In mid-1975, Mr. Tucker was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service, Headquarters Counterfeit Division, and supervised all counterfeit investigations nationwide.

In the latter part of 1976, Mr. Tucker was promoted to the position of Assistant/Inspector at Secret Service Headquarters in charge of internal investigations. In mid-1978, he was promoted to the position of Special Agent in Charge of the US Secret Service Office for the State of Arizona.

Mr. Tucker retired from the Secret Service in March of 1990 after a career with the Secret Service of almost 25 years. He was sworn in as US Marshal for the District of Arizona on March 26, 1990, after being appointed by President George H. W. Bush. In his capacity as US Marshal, Mr. Tucker supervised all security procedures related to the protection of federal judges, federal courthouses, the witness protection program, federal prisoner security, and transportation and seized assets investigations.

Mr. Tucker retired from the US Marshals Service in March 1994. In August 1994, he was selected, after a nationwide search, as the Chief of Court Security for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts in Washington, DC. In this capacity, he monitored the security provided to the federal judiciary and supervised the $150 million budget. He also coordinated the investigation of the bombing of the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Mr. Tucker returned to Arizona in March 1996. In January 1997, he started his own Investigations Company, T.I.P.S. (Tucker Investigations and Protective Services).

Mr. Tucker was hired by the State of Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, Office of Special Investigations, to conduct an assessment of that unit in 2000–2001. During this period, he was appointed chief of the unit and submitted a comprehensive evaluation to the governor.

He has been the recipient of numerous special achievement awards for investigative and supervisory activities, as well as the Secretary of the Treasury Award for outstanding investigations. Mr. Tucker has been an EEOC counselor for each agency and has been instrumental in developing diversity and sensitivity trainings for upper-level management and other employees.

Mr. Tucker graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor Degree in Sociology/Criminology. He is an active member of NOBLE, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and was a member of their executive board.

Tucker lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife, Wendy, who owns several Chompie’s Delicatessens with her family.


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