Friday, July 08, 2016

Blaine Cooper pleads guilty to federal conspiracy charge in Oregon standoff, close to plea deal in NV

Blaine Cooper, a recruiter who encouraged people to bring their guns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Thursday pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and is poised to accept a plea deal in his federal indictment in Nevada. Cooper, 37, of Humboldt, Arizona, is the first defendant in the Oregon standoff case to seek a global resolution in the federal prosecutions pending against him in two states. Cooper is likely to plead guilty to at least one of the 11 offenses he's charged with stemming from the 2014 armed standoff with federal officers over grazing cattle on U.S. land near Cliven Bundy's ranch in southern Nevada. He's also expected to face a stiffer prison sentence in that case. A tentative agreement, not yet formally accepted, would have Cooper pleading guilty to two charges in Nevada and facing a six-year sentence. In Oregon, Cooper, 37, is expected to get credit for time served as part of a recommended sentence of six months in custody, followed by six months in either a halfway house or home detention. He's already been in custody nearly five months. Krista Shipsey, Cooper's defense lawyer, urged Cooper's co-defendants and others to respect his choice. "It's incredibly hard for him to be here today,'' Shipsey said in court Thursday. "He felt he needed to take care of this, but I hope they respect this is what's best for him.''...more

HT: Marvin Frisbey

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