Another Arizona Militant Arrested by FBI for Connection to Oregon Occupation

Blaine Cooper of Humbolt, Arizona, was arrested today for his role in the Oregon occupation.
Blaine Cooper of Humbolt, Arizona, was arrested today for his role in the Oregon occupation.
Courtesy of Blaine Cooper/Facebook and the Washington County Sheriff's Office

After 41 days, it appears the occupation of a federal building on a wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon, finally is over.

Not only did the FBI arrest the final four holdouts holed up in the building today, they nabbed seven others affiliated with the occupation — including Arizona resident Blaine Cooper.

Cooper was arrested by the FBI at 8:25 a.m. today in Utah and remains in custody of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, jail records show.

His wife, Melissa Cooper, announced the news on Facebook, writing: "They arrested my husband right in front of me and my girls... in Springdale, Utah at the Canyon Ranch Motel." She goes to say that they were heading back to Arizona at the time.

Court documents show that Cooper is being charged "with one felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats."

Cooper, 36, lived with his wife and their two daughters in Humbolt and was one of the initial Arizonans to join the Oregon occupation in early January.

Cooper is good friends with Jon Ritzheimer, Arizona's infamous anti-Muslim provocateur, and the two of them drove to the wildlife refuge to fight for the U.S. Constitution.

Ritzheimer was arrested late last month and remains in jail after a federal judge deemed him ineligible for bail.

Throughout the occupation, Cooper posted numerous videos and social-media updates, some more coherent than others, detailing what was happening inside the compound. He frequently appeared alongside occupation leader Ammon Bundy during press conferences, and was always wearing military camouflage — Cooper never served in the U.S. military but did like to run around the desert hunting supposed cartel members.

While the Internet mocked Ritzheimer with Twitter hashtags — #DaddySworeAnOath — and for his viral rant about receiving "a bag of dicks" in the mail, Cooper mostly stayed out of the spotlight.

He did have at least two center-stage moments: The first was when he got into a physical brawl with someone at the occupation, and the second was when he and another Arizona militant — the now-deceased LaVoy Finicum — announced in a Facebook video that the Arizona Department of Child Safety had "kidnapped" their children because of their role in the occupation.

At the time Cooper stated that his wife was visiting him in Oregon but was leaving immediately to retrieve their children. 

It's unclear what the couple was doing in Utah this week, but Melissa Cooper's latest Facebook post from this afternoon states that she and her two daughters are on their way back to Arizona.

Read his official indictment:


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