Traici Sexton is a private investigator and bounty hunter who will take pretty much any job that involves “sniffin ‘em out and trackin ‘em down”— you name it. She got her start when her now ex-husband hired her as an intel analyst. Along with her ex, she opened her first company, Covert Operations, in 2003, and they ran it together until their divorce in 2007. Sexton then opened her own company, Blue Dog Investigations & Services, in Acworth.
As a bounty hunter, you deal with the bondsman. You market yourself to bondsmen, you’re working for bondsmen, you go and collect your check from bondsmen. You keep bondsmen happy. On the P.I. side, your clients are the general public and attorneys.
To me, bounty hunting is finding people and being paid to do so. My focus isn’t returning people to jail. My focus is working with attorneys to find people and bring them to court for whatever issue.
When I start a case, I ask for every available piece of information that there is. If you were to call me as a private citizen asking me to help locate your lost love or your lost sister or something, I would ask you to give me every piece of information you know. I’m not asking you to do any investigations; just provide [the information] to me. If you’ve provided what college they graduated from, then the college is where I’m gonna start. If you’ve provided an old address, then I’m gonna start at that address. It just depends on the information provided which direction I go.
I don’t like to put time limits on finding people, because that’s one of the first questions I get asked, and I can’t tell you. For me, it’s not ever a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. It’s not like saying, “How long does it take to get from here to Atlanta?” It’s “How long does it take to find somebody when you have no clue where they’re at?” There’s no way of really answering that question.
With bounty hunting, [the people I find] are usually understanding. These people are part of the system. They’ve been out of jail; they’re just going to call another bondsman and get another bond. They’ll probably be out before morning. That’s just how it is. All we want to do is come off the bond, because he didn’t show up in court. Once that’s handled, it takes care of the warrant from the police department. It takes care of the bond from the bonding company. And everybody makes more money. That’s the cycle.
On the process-serving end, I find people who are running from being served [with a lawsuit]. When I find them, they’re not happy. In their minds, I’m going after their money. With process serving, I’ve actually been held against my will. I actually was up on someone’s patio, and their son became enraged and chased me. He made it to my vehicle before I did, and [the family] surrounded my vehicle. Five people surrounded my vehicle and refused to let me leave. They threatened my life. Of course, this was in the middle of nowhere, and I had no cell phone reception; I had nothing.
This is what’s funny about it: They called the police! They felt like they were completely in the right and that I had no right to be on their property. When the police got there, they calmly explained to them that I had an order from a judge to be there, and that the only ones breaking the law were them [for] holding me.
The thing is, people think things like, “You’re on my property, I have a right to shoot you.” That’s just simply not true. You can’t just kill somebody because they walk through your yard! But that doesn’t make a difference if I get shot. So there’s still those dangers.
I really like what I do. I believe I’m good at it. I’m definitely looking into getting more criminal work. I like the success of finding someone. I like the end, the story. When it’s a lost love, I like the reconnection. When it’s a process serving or a bounty hunt, I like the closure. There’s always a thrill involved at some point.
I looked into [joining a police force] at different times, and it just seems that every time I start to look somewhere else, I get a lot more cases and people just tell me this is where I need to be. I went through a lot to be where I’ve ended up. I think there was a purpose for that — to go through everything and be here now, doing what I do.