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Undercover FBI Agent Turned Author To Visit Emmetsburg

July 20, 2017
Emmetsburg News

Retired FBI agent turned author, Dana Ridenour, will be signing copies of her new novel, Beyond The Cabin at The Shores on Friday, July 28 at 10 a.m.

Dana's husband, Bill, grew up in Emmetsburg and attended Emmetsburg High School before attending the University of Northern Iowa. He returned to the area, where he worked at Cylinder State Bank for five years before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Dana Ridenour was born in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Police Administration in 1989. She then pursued her Juris Doctor from Chase Law School where she graduated in 1992.

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Dana entered on duty as a special agent with the FBI in November of 1995 and retired April 6, 2016 with a little over 20 years on the job. Dana was assigned to four different FBI Field Divisions and had the opportunity to work a wide variety of cases to include multi faceted narcotics investigations, domestic sex trafficking of minors, and violent crime.

Over the years, Dana was a proud member of the FBI's Evidence Response Team where she and her team traveled to New York City in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. The highlight of Dana's career came in 2003 when she attended and passed the FBI's prestigious undercover school, thus allowing her to work as an undercover FBI agent. This undercover certification opened the door for Dana to work a series of long term, deep cover cases focusing on domestic terrorism.

Dana and her husband, Bill, met on assignment at St. Croix in the Virgin Island. Shortly after they started dating, Dana was called to work a full-time undercover operation in California. While undercover, Dana's supervisor determined that it would be beneficial to the operation if Dana and another officer posed as a couple.

Dana had the rare experience of working a long-term undercover investigation with her husband who is a retired FBI agent. The couple got so deep undercover that their subjects invited them to travel to Amsterdam for 10 days to an anarchist camp where they had classes in defeating surveillance systems, bomb making, how to keep the cops from getting into your computer, and communicating without law enforcement interception. Dana plans to use their experience at the anarchist camp for her third novel.

Dana was the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer Award presented by the United States Attorneys Office for her work on a gang related human trafficking investigation involving a fourteen-year-old victim.

As a twenty-year veteran of the FBI, she spent most of her career as a FBI undercover operative infiltrating various criminal organizations including domestic terrorism extremists in the Animal Liberation Front. Dana's first novel, Behind The Mask, is fiction but based on her personal experiences working as an undercover agent.

Behind The Mask won numerous literary awards including the Hal Bernard Memorial Award for best novel and the Edna Sampson Award of Excellence both presented by the Southeastern Writers Association. The novel also took top honors in the 2016 Royal Dragonfly Writers Awards winning not only the Grand Prize, but also first place in the Fiction-Novel category, and first place in the First Time Author (Fiction) category. Kirkus Reviews awarded Behind The Mask the coveted Kirkus star and named the book one of the best indie books of 2016. Behind The Mask won first place in its category at the Chanticleer International Book Awards. The book was awarded the Silver Medal at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction. Behind The Mask was the First Place Winner for Best Action/Adventure Book at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Dana retired from the FBI in April 2016 and currently lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Dana's second novel is scheduled for release August 1, 2017.



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