Oregon refuge militant arrested by FBI at Springdale hotel

In this file photo, Jon Ritzheimer, of Arizona, a member of the group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, adjusts a sign. Burns, Oregon, Jan. 5, 2016 | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Law enforcement authorities confirmed Thursday morning the FBI arrested 36-year-old Blaine Cooper, one of the more vocal militants at the Oregon refuge last month.

Blaine Cooper booking photo, Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
Blaine Cooper booking photo, Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said two of his deputies were contacted at approximately 6:30 a.m. Thursday by the FBI to assist with Cooper’s arrest at the Canyon Ranch Motel located near the Zion National Park entrance.

Pulsipher was not able to provide any additional details about the incident, referring all questions to the arresting agency.

St. George News contacted the Oregon FBI Office but was directed to the state’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. Several calls to that agency Thursday went unreturned.

The indictment, filed Wednesday, was sealed until Thursday as to some defendants and Friday as to others. Those include: Cooper, Corey Lequieu, Neil Wampler, Jason Charles Blomgren, also known as “Joker J,” Darryl William Thorn, Wesley Kjar, Eric Lee Flores, Geoffrey Stanek and Travis Cox.

Cooper, whose real name is Stanley Blaine Cooper Hicks, was booked into the Washington County jail as a federal detainee.

Cooper and the others named in the indictment are charged with conspiracy to impede officers of the United States. The allegations against the named defendants on the indictment allege they conspired and agreed together “to prevent by force, intimidation, and threats, officers and employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service … from discharging the duties of their office at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge ….”

Read the indictment here: USA v Cooper et al. Indictment filed 20160210 unsealed 20160212

The same charge has been leveled against Ammon and Ryan Bundy and several other of their counterparts who were involved in the 41-day occupation of the bird sanctuary.

Melissa Cooper, Cooper’s wife, used Facebook Thursday to announce the arrest of her husband and to solicit donations. She posted that officers had arrested Blaine Cooper in front of her and their two daughters.

Melissa Cooper admitted while a guest on a YouTube show Thursday she and her children had left the couple’s home in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, last month to be with her husband at the refuge. She said she plans to return to Arizona.

Blaine Cooper left the refuge within days of the Bundys’ arrest and the death of Robert LaVoy Finicum. Media on scene at the time reported the FBI had promised not to arrest Blaine Cooper and the others upon their exit from the refuge.

Blaine Cooper’s arrest came just hours after that of Cliven Bundy’s in Portland, Oregon. Bundy had flown there with plans to go to the Malheur National Refuge where four of the last remaining occupiers were negotiating with authorities Wednesday night for their safe surrender. Bundy was arrested on several charges stemming from the 2014 armed standoff at his Nevada ranch.

Blaine Cooper and several others who had occupied the refuge alongside Cliven Bundy’s sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, attended Finicum’s funeral last Friday in Kanab. He told the media then he had traveled to the funeral as part of an armed convoy. He also said he had not been home since he left the refuge Jan. 26.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • Chris February 12, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Stanley Hicks lied about his military service and has a felony criminal record. Numerous other Bundy associates have also lied about their military service. These posers are the best representatives of the Ammon Bundy crusade–liars and criminals.

    • observer February 14, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Seems there’s corrupt people located within range of this newspaper and heavily involved in what’s going on in Oregon. Maybe you Chris, or anybody home in Oregon. Why would anybody home care so much about the news in and around the range of area?

      So I asked my staff to investigate. Especially after anybody home demanded evidence, names trying to see if the dirt had been uncovered. In honor of Chris ( a brat) and anybody home (a snitch), here it is in black and white:

      Who is??? https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-schloderer-498b081b

      Well let’s see. He lives within the area, is a geologist, and frequents Portland for his business partnership called Oregon Energy LLC (former Uranium One). Attempted a business license in Utah, but moved it to Portland. Attempts to keep his name from the public light, and someone in Portland tells media it’s an Australian business – no a partner is foreign but the business is American/domestic.

      Now that sage-grouse is not threatened, let’s watch this link: http://www.blm.gov/or/energy/uranium.php

      Why would a geologist, who probably was hired (by Mormon ranchers) to explore the Mormon Mining Basin, attempt to hide his “business achievements” from the public view? Would he have known about the uranium, but failed to disclose to his clients? Or acquire the mining rights under false pretense? What kind of licensed professional would do such a thing?

      2 million dollar sale transaction last year, and it’s waiting for the go ahead. Would that kind of investment, make a person who lives in Utah a Mormon State, goes against his own community, send out the signal to create chaos and give Notice to all comment participators of the public hearing BLM held? Interesting list of companies and names. The fake Judge Grasty is connected to BLM and Oregon Energy LLC (former Uranium One) Was the exchange of hands necessary to get the townsfolk on board? No true blooded American likes to hear “foreign” corporation.

      What is the connection between this geologist and the accountant from BYU turned FBI special agent for Portland (former Salt Lake City). Ken Porter retired FBI now works as security for LDS (La Voy belongs to LDS) Maybe he or Debbie Dujanovic Bartram (former FBI) can enlighten America now that she’s an investigative reporter for KSL news, whom broke the story about their year long investigation into Salt Lake’s FBI.

      In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to watch the turbulence in the court system, as more truth gets revealed. What did these corrupt think, besides personal gain?

      Each Defendant gets his/her own attorney, add to this legal teams, outside civil rights groups, prisoner advocates, people in political offices all across the nation, ex-military (not militia/law enforcement). People who never knew the likes of Bundy, Hammonds, Finicum are now engaged in dialogue, even the inmates inside the facility (kites fly fast on the inside).

      There is no way to stop the dialogue or the cause now, no matter how ugly the corrupt attempt to get. Everyone knows the true corrupt players could care less about anything or anyone, except for their bottom dollar at the end of the day. 70,000 plus (est over 100,000 through links), including Law Enforcement offices across the nation were listening to the live feed while the last 4 walked out. Thankfully there are LEO’s who believe in the Constitution, believe in the cause along with many high ranking military officers. So from the brass of the brass to the incarcerated, the cause (the story) is being told.

      God Bless folks. It’s Sunday, time to repent and ask forgiveness. God is watching. Remember all Romans 12:14-21. Never take your own revenge, leave room for the wrath of God. Amen!

      • Chris February 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        ” asked my staff to investigate” That’s a hoot. An economic loser like you has never had anything resembling a “staff”, unless you include your imaginary friend and your cat. Your posts keep getting more delusional, and I’m guessing you must be off your prescribed meds. “Observer” is a perfect moniker for you since you never really did anything of substance in your life.

  • KarenS February 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    The article states that “Media on scene at the time reported the FBI had promised not to arrest Blaine Cooper and the others upon their exit from the refuge.” But the FBI said nothing about arresting them later. That should have been obvious. At Finicum’s funeral someone asked Cooper why he hadn’t been arrested. “Just lucky, I guess” he said. Well, his luck ran out. They could have arrested his wife, too, since her picture was plastered all over the internet cooking and organize provisions for the armed occupiers and generally part of the occupation as she was interviewed several times. She said she was at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada during the 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management. I guess she is still lucky.

  • Rainbow Dash February 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I would like to take this time to thank the various law enforcement officials who worked tirelessly and put their lives on the line to bring down these Vanilla ISIS terrorists and protect the rights and desires of American people.

    • anybody home February 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      On behalf of the people of Oregon, and I am one, I can tell you this means a lot…Thank you, Rainbow and …. They tell us today that the birds are coming back and we hope the people who manage the place can get in soon to do their work… The sheriff of Harney County, David Ward, who has not been sheriff long, is considered a big hero there because of his cool head and his work with the FBI and state police. He deserves a lot of credit. The future and the trials will be a task for the courts, and likely not pleasant. But we’re grateful for the support from everywhere. I’ll pass this along.

  • .... February 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Yeah what Rainbow said ! Good job law enforcement. we need to keep America safe from these gun toting idiots

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