Alumni Spotlight: Logan Terry
Jan. 29, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Campbell Atkins
In his current life as a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Logan Terry is used to wearing many hats. Prior to his service, he was able to help develop these skills thanks to his time as a dual student-athlete for Sam Houston State University.
“Distance running has been a good precursor to this job in that it requires you to work at something every day, even though you may not see immediate results,” Terry said. “It’s about the process of putting in that time and knowing it will eventually yield results. On average, our cases take a year or longer, so you have to be patient with the people you are working with.”
IRS special agents are duly sworn law enforcement officers trained to combine accounting skills with traditional law enforcement skills in order to investigate a wide range of financial crimes. As the son of a Dallas police officer turned Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, Terry comes from a criminal justice background. He did, however, decide to go another route when choosing a major in order to make himself more marketable in the workforce.
“My father said an accounting background is looked at highly by a lot of agencies because it means you are able to ‘follow the money’,” Terry said. “I don’t think he knew what kind of sage advice he was offering at the time, but I took it to heart.”
Terry’s first foray into the professional world was a job with the Houston Police Department, which he worked from 2016-2020. After developing basic law enforcement practices, he had an opportunity to merge that knowledge with his accounting skills when he heard of an opening in the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS. He soon became a member of an elite force considered to be the federal government’s premier financial investigators.
“We can work any crime that touches the financial system,” Terry said. “I have had experience, for example, working the money side of a narcotics case.”
In this particular instance, Terry joined a case that was already under investigation by the DEA. They had discovered individuals posing as doctors in Houston conspiring with the owner of a pharmaceutical company in Florida to make a placebo for Codeine and Promethazine cough syrup, known colloquially as “Purple Drank.”
“It turned out the individuals began selling the substance on the streets of Houston,” Terry said. “It was uncovered that the man in Florida not only knew that they were not doctors, but also knew they were looking to sell it. He helped them with making fake brand-name labels for the stuff.”
After subpoenaing the pharmaceutical owner’s bank records and identifying the relevant deposits, Terry traced the money to a McLaren sports car worth over $400,000, which was ultimately seized. Eventually, an arrest was made and the case entered a judicial phase. Terry then worked closely with the Department of Justice in compiling evidence before the individual pled guilty.
This was one of the many financial-related cases Terry has worked in the last few years, no two of which are the same. He often finds himself juggling as many as four or five diverse cases at once, which requires an excellent range of knowledge along with time management skills.
“I feel that being a student-athlete prepared me well for the real world and having an adult job, especially my work as a special agent,” Terry said. “A huge part of what we do and how we are evaluated is how you manage your time throughout the day.”
Terry moved to the Houston area at the age of eight when his father accepted a job as a DEA agent. From a young age, he discovered just how good he was at distance running.
“It took a little bit of maturing to realize that, if I really wanted to be an elite high school runner, it has to be an everyday commitment,” Terry said. “I started to think about how cool it would be to run at the NCAA level.”
When the time came, he received numerous offers from smaller schools. One of his high school coaches, as it turned out, was connected with SHSU’s head cross country coach and assistant track coach Jesse Parker.
“He told me to reach out to him with some times and that he’d put in a good word for me,” Terry said. “Sure enough, I got a call from Sam Houston and they invited me to campus for an official visit. It looked like a place I really wanted to be. They offered me a small scholarship, which I gratefully accepted and signed my letter of intent.”
Terry redshirted his first year of eligibility for track but competed in cross country his first four years. During his last year of eligibility for track, he began his master’s in business administration and completed it a year afterward.
He also attended Sam Houston with his future wife, Sabrina Chapman-Terry, who he met in high school. She currently works as a research associate for the SHSU Online Professional Learning team. The couple was married in 2019.
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