The Last Cowboy

The Last Cowboy Book


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The Last Cowboy
The True Story of one of DEA's most Decorated Undercover Agents

The Last Cowboy is the true story of an undercover agent with unconventional methods who becomes one of the most highly decorated undercover agents in the history of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.  This is not the usual "hero cop saga".  The lighthearted voice of this undercover agent permeates the pages of this book.  The story is presented in such a manner that the reader can easily imagine sitting around a campfire with this cowboy agent as he shares heart-stopping adventures over a warm cup of joe. Hard-hitting, yet interspersed with splashes of waggish cowboy yarns, this page-turner captivates the reader's attention.

At the heart of this story are the remarkable actions of one of the last of an aging breed of hard-charging, rough-riding agents who risk it all to protect the innocent.  From eighty-five million dollar undercover deals with the most deadly of all Mexican drug traffickers, to tackling and incapacitating a suicide bomber on the deadly streets of a Taliban-infested marketplace of Kabul, Afghanistan in order to save the lives of countless American soldiers, this is the true story of the last cowboy to serve with the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This is my story.

Book Excerpt: Chapter 10                       End of the Trail

The American cowboy of the Old West lived an independent life of solitude, with the freedom to ride the ranges without the restrictions of barbed wire fencing. He drove his cattle from fast moving waters, storms, and rogue cattle rustlers as he free ranged through the Western frontier. He was set apart from the drunken gunslingers, train robbers, and “Bad Barts” of the 1800s because he chose to live by the Code of the West. He lived and died wearing his white hat, protected the ranchers from the robber barons and rescued damsels in distress. All he ever asked in return was to die with his boots on.

Did the independent spirit of free ranging and standing up for the oppressed pass with the cowboys of old? For the last century, this flame has been carried in the hearts and minds of American boys as they grew into manhood. Their minds were set on fire with dime novels that portrayed the lives of early frontiersmen. Radio and television shows like The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, and Bonanza served as windows into the past - a close up lesson on the Code of the West.

I was one of these young boys who always wanted to wear a white hat and stand toe-to-toe with the bad guys in a battle against the forces of evil. Young boys have been this way throughout generations of Americans, and will continue as long as there are memories of the last cowboys who roamed in the Old West. Today, the ranks of the police and military are filled with these boys who have grown into men who live out these dreams.

Old, worn-out, retired DEA agents will tell you that the best days of being a narcotics agent have passed. The restrictive nature of rules and regulations, political correctness, and video recording cell phones have taken out all the fun in the job. These cowboys are slowly being fenced in by technology, laws, regulations, and pencil-necked stupidvisors.

What does this really accomplish? For one thing, I guess it protects us from ourselves and our brash actions that on occasion may lead to a train wreck. It succeeds in slowing down the rocket ride of the fast-paced undercover agent as he barrels down the road, keeping up with the soulless traffickers of the drug world. It snips our wings and shapes our methods with the sharp edge of a cookie cutter to smooth our rough edges. As a result of this, we lose the boldness of quick action, the ability to slam dirtballs at breakneck speeds, and the courage to do the right thing regardless of the consequences.

You don’t have to wear a Stetson and a pair of Tony Lama snakeskin boots to be a cowboy Narc. You only need the mindset that is forged in the streets of life, fighting crime with an iron fist or sometimes a feather (a gentle touch). Over the years, you learn to discern as Solomon would and grow the courage of a lion when confronted with dark things. We aren’t really as one would imagine. We aren’t dashing and handsome leading men, but rather, we’re old porch dogs, slumbering with one eye open, waiting, and watching- ready for that mangy cat or passing car to foolishly cross our path. At that moment, we spring into action and leap from our feigned rest to give chase, bringing down those who would dare challenge us. I recall an old Turkish proverb that reads: “There is a sleeping lion in the heart of the brave.” We may all look like a pack of porch dogs, but deep down inside we have the heart of a lion.

We are the cowboys of American law enforcement, a dying breed cut off from living our dreams in this not-so-brave new world. When society demands the fencing in of the freestyle police work of old, the new generations of cowboys have no choice but to step in line, or they will lose their job (or even worse, face legal consequences). Unfortunately, what these new restrictions can’t accomplish, the aging process will - a last generation of gun-toting cowboys are slowed down naturally by their aging bodies, broken down by the wear of wrestling bad guys, bailing from patrol cars, and kicking in doors in the dead of night. Over the years we watch as our hair turns gray or turns loose, our eyes turn hard (along with our hearing), the barbed wire pain of arthritis creeps in, and we have to learn to walk with a hitch in our get-along due to old, fractured bones. In the end, it is our own aging bodies that, like a traitor, serve to fence us in when the bureaucratic managers could not. Father Time has reared his unkind hand and touched us all.

The Last Cowboy is a testament to these old warriors.

Book Endorsements:

“Hard-hitting, explosive, and masterfully told. Whether battling drug traffickers on the streets of America, or hunting terrorists in the markets of Kabul, Tim Sellers is the stuff that legends are made of. He is a real life Captain America who is also the most sincere, big-hearted and compassionate person I’ve ever known. His book is both humorous and honest as it looks back at life on the streets–from the cringe worthy but hilarious moments that all of us have but few admit to, to the heroic highs of a life lived with unflinching courage!” Steven "Batman" Peterson, DEA (ret), VP of the National Law Enforcement Speakers Bureau, LLC.

“Insurmountable odds, understated courage. Tim Sellers is a cop’s cop with a warrior’s edge. This man knows how to tell a story – utterly gripping page-turner." Lt. David Lundgren, Hayward Police Department; President, California Narcotic Officers Association, Medal of Valor recipient, California Narcotic Officer of the Year 2007

“A truly humble, un-glittered, sometimes taut and yet sometimes hilarious accounting of the law enforcement career of one of the DEA’s most highly-decorated American heroes, The Last Cowboy is also a boots-on-the-ground cross section of recent history, chronicling over 30 years of major threats to our country and criminal trends affecting directly and indirectly the lives of the American public. For a man who has spent most of his life vanquishing some of humankind’s most dodgy individuals, Tim Sellers has, by some miracle, emerged not only alive and well, but with his humanity and humor firmly intact. That fact jumps off the page with every phrase depicting each real-life event we are privy to and privileged to get a glimpse of.” D. V. Caitlyn, Actor, Writer, Director, Artistic Director-Highlands Playhouse, Assistant Professor of Performance & Directing

“The Last Cowboy is a ripping account of one man’s battle against terrorists and drug dealers along the Mexico border and Afghanistan. Sellers’ work is a must-read for any patriotic American who understands the undeniable truth that society will descend into anarchy unless cowboys like Sellers are given open range. It is a potent work that the readers won’t soon forget.” Peter F. Boyce, General Counsel, National Narcotics Officers Association, Inc.

“I tried to reason with him: “Are you crazy?!  Afghanistan is a war zone!  You’re too old and too close to retirement!” Tim, in his usual cowboy way, ignored my advice and went anyway.  In this often hilarious and thoroughly stirring account, Tim’s life in law enforcement is a call to others to live a courageous, authentic life that does what is right in spite of the opposition.” Gilbert Gonzalez, DEA (ret); Executive Director, Texas Narcotic Officers Association, DEA Award of Valor recipient.

"This man’s story will forever change your ideas on what an American hero is. The battles for our freedom from fear are fought on the streets of America, our borders, and in far away places. This is a powerful story written by a true American hero.”  Paul Stevens, Special Agent, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, (ret); President, National Drug Enforcement Officers Association.

“Tim’s international law enforcement opportunities have provided him with true-life experiences and an extraordinary insight in the drug underworld as it coexists with international and domestic terrorism. Tim continues to share his experiences and knowledge so that law enforcement officers can remain safe and alert.”  Sam Candelaria, Detective, Albuquerque Police Department (ret), DEA Task Force Officer; NM Narcotics Officers Association, Police Writers Association                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
"It is men like Tim Sellers who make the bad guys (in either war or peace), look back over their shoulder and walk a little bit faster." LTC (ret) E. Ramirez, 10th Mountain Division veteran, OEF 2004.


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