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.
SHARE! MARINE Jon Ritzheimer and Patriots! In Oregon! Jon Ritzheimer's Plan! Israel Torres Eric Ej Parker Blaine Cooper Oregon III% has been working with other Patriots to coordinate a peaceful"I stand with the Hammonds and Harney county" support rally and march.Saturday Jan 2nd 10:00am (date has changed from the 4th) -Those wanting to travel together will rendezvous at Wilco in Bend on hwy 20 ( Wilco, 2717 NE Hwy 20, Bend, OR 97701)Patriot Convoy from Bend to Burns- Meet at the Safeway in Burns.(Safeway, 246 W. Monroe St., Burns, OR 97720) arrive around 12:00pm.Bring flags, flowers, banners and homemade signs.We'll march from Safeway, north on past Sheriffs office,head east to downtown main street (Broadway) and stop by the Hammond's home, drop off flowers in front of their home.For those who want to participate,contact your Zones/County leads to plan a sign making event in you respective areas between now and the 2nd of January, so you can talk with your people in person about the event. We should have a good turn out, support our neighbors, and rally once again.We will be calling media outlets to let them know that Americans will be gathering in Burns to support the ranchers that are being treated like terrorists.Pleas wear civilian clothes, follow state laws, and carry concealed if possible,contact me or your local Zone leaders to schedule car pooling.Please contact BJ Soper or Jeff Roberts for all questions.Posted by Blaine Cooper on Monday, December 28, 2015
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.
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.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
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: