As the four remaining occupiers at the Oregon wildlife refuge prepared to turn themselves in to federal authorities on Thursday, a former Oregon occupier said that her husband, who had also been present at the refuge, was just arrested.
Melissa Cooper wrote on Facebook on Thursday morning that Blaine Cooper was arrested by the FBI. Cooper’s alleged arrest was also mentioned on the livestream of the remaining Oregon militiamen preparing to turn themselves in to the FBI.
Blaine Cooper, also known as Stanley Blaine Hicks, was an Arizona resident who had been present at the Oregon wildlife refuge. He reportedly got into a fistfight with the leader of an Arizona group that visited the compound in January.
Cooper disappeared shortly after the FBI made the initial arrests of Ammon Bundy and several other members of the militia, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. Both Blaine and Melissa Cooper had been silent since Ammon Bundy’s arrest, except for Blaine Cooper’s call to a radio show at the end of January to say that he checks daily to see if there is a warrant for his arrest, according to OPB. Melissa and Blaine Cooper’s location was not known at the time, according to OPB.
Blaine Cooper had claimed that the Arizona Department of Child Safety had tried to take his children into custody while he and his wife were in Oregon, according to OPB.
The report of Cooper’s alleged arrest follows the news that Cliven Bundy was arrested at the Portland airport on Wednesday night. The elder Bundy reportedly faces charges associated with his 2014 standoff with federal authorities.
There was also a report that a Bundy bodyguard had been arrested in Nevada. It wasn’t immediately clear if there was any connection between that arrest and Cooper’s arrest.