US Marshals have a reputation of being rough and tough. Dani scared the hell out of me the first time I met her; being from New York that takes a lot. There's something about her determination that brings the phrase "steely eyes" to life. Clint Eastwood would approve of her.
She showed me the trailer where her team planned all their missions. A huge map of their district covered an entire wall behind a sheet of Plexiglass. Different colored markers and tape made a pattern understandable only to them. Two coffee makers and a tea pot stayed on the bubble in one corner with a mini-fridge beside it. On top of the minifridge was a bowl over-flowing with fruit.
"I'm trying to get them to eat better," said Dani. "They're a good group who keep shoveling crap down their gullets. I tell them if they die of a heart attack in the middle of a raid, I'll point and laugh. To be honest, I had more luck making them do yoga than eating salad."
Dani and her team are hot on the trail of arms-dealing conglomerate, working with two other US Marshals districts to put enough evidence together to bring the whole operation down. It's a long, tedious job, only occasionally punctuated with real action.
"The younger ones, the new kids, they're chomping at the bit to take someone down. I let them out once in a while, just to keep them out of my hair. But I want the big guys. I want to cut the head off the snake."
That's the kind of stuff that makes her scary.