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Jun. 28 2010 - 3:46 pm | 8,258 views | 1 recommendation | 15 comments

Texas Rangers arrest Candi Cooper outside Austin home

Update (below): Candi Cooper is free.

The wife of Texas drug cop turned anti-prohibition crusader Barry Cooper has been arrested, according to a phone call I just received.

Cooper claimed that a woman knocked on their door and told his wife Candi that she’d ran into their vehicle and wanted to exchange insurance information. However, when she stepped outside officers were allegedly waiting in the wings with handcuffs.

“This is so fucked up dude, the Texas Rangers are outside my home right now trying to figure out what to do,” Barry claimed in a frantic phone call. “My lawyer is pissed. I’m not going outside. They have an arrest warrant for she and I, but they don’t have a search warrant so they’re not kicking in my door just yet.”

Authorities have yet to confirm the arrest. Children are present in the residence and could be heard in the background of the call. The Coopers vehicle was indeed damaged, according to one of the children overheard in the background audio.

(Update: the vehicle had some preexisting damage, so police were in no way responsible for that. They apparently used the claim as a ploy to draw the Coopers out of their home. The younger voice heard on the call was apparently Barry’s oldest daughter.)

Cooper claimed these latest dealings with law enforcement are related to his first ‘KopBusters’ operation in Odessa, Texas, where he set up a fake marijuana grow house fitted with cameras and Christmas trees. The sting was the first of a series for Cooper, who saw his now-abandoned reality show project as a way to make an example of dishonest officers.

While he was not arrested at that time, the Texas Rangers had been conducting a further investigation. In that case, officers were tipped off to the alleged grow operation by an anonymous letter left for a local pastor, who turned it over to police.

Making a false report to a police officer is a Class B misdemeanor.

Watch this space for further updates.

Update, 3:10 p.m.

Barry has released a video featuring a confrontational conversation he allegedly had with an unidentified Texas Ranger in March 2009. The video was published to YouTube over a year ago, but was just now released to the public.

The edits in the last 30 seconds of video were apparently made to emphasize the man telling Cooper he’d come to Austin and “whoop your ass.” It is below.

I’m with Cooper now. He’s sent his kids to stay with friends and plans to vanish for a couple days until his attorney can arrange for an amicable resolution to his arrest warrant. At this moment he’s pacing back and forth in his living room, cursing and smoking, calling as many people as possible to spread the word.

I can confirm that his wife is in Travis County jail.

Cooper showed me a video clip of the Texas Rangers standing outside his apartment in south Austin as he tried to communicate through a window. On the video, an officer wearing a wide-brimmed cowboy hat, a light blue shirt and pressed slacks informed Cooper that the arrest is indeed related to making a false report to a peace officer in Odessa, Texas.

Because of this, Odessa has up to 10 days to extradite Candi: a scary truth for Barry, who sounds on the verge of tears at the moment.

“Oh my God if they keep her for 10 days or more, I don’t know what I’ll do,” he said, tugging on a cigarette. “This is unbelievable. It’s possible that they could come back with a warrant for resisting arrest. I’ve never seen a cop kick in a door for that alone, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Update, 4:18 a.m.

After a long night of high-tension phone calls, loosely made plans and a madcap scramble to get a vehicle not associated with Barry into downtown Austin to pick up his wife, Candi Cooper is free as of roughly 3 a.m.

I was along for the whole strange trip.

The record should show that Candi’s arrest was attributed to the charge of making a false report to a peace officer during her husband’s political activism in Odessa, Texas nearly 19 months ago.

Also for the record: I’ve been told by multiple people involved in the Odessa sting that Candi was not the author of an anonymous letter left for a local pastor, who ultimately advised police of the alleged marijuana grow operation by way of turning over the missive.

It was a due to a Class B misdemeanor that the state’s most elite police force, the Texas Rangers, became involved in this weird, politically charged case.

Their presence at the Coopers’ yesterday convinced me beyond all reasonable doubt that Texas law enforcement really has it out for these people.

The Rangers are not some backwater cop shop. They could have called the Coopers’ attorney and demanded they turn themselves in. They could have pulled Barry over at any time. They could have been direct about the matter and achieved compliance, straightaway … Instead, officers chose to have a female knock on the family’s door and falsely claim their vehicle had been damaged, luring Candi outside whereupon an arrest was quickly made.

“That’s exactly how we used to do it when I was a cop,” Cooper told me. “I’ve actually done that to people myself.”

Could this be karmic justice served Texas-style? Or is Candi’s arrest the business end of a political vendetta against her husband?

Seeing what I’ve seen, both this week and in the 17 months since I began sporadically writing about Cooper … I’m going with both.

An arrest warrant for Barry is still outstanding, but he’s professed an intent to turn himself in. Stay tuned.


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  1. collapse expand

    If they don’t pull their horns in I’ll make sure MY Men In Black deal with them. You’ve nothing to fear, but they DO. Oil’s well that ends well. Be ready to evacuate should I dump a load on Galveston (sorry, Glen Campbell, but a real Ranger is now on the job and justice must be served neat> no water necessary)… Goodbye Texass!

  2. collapse expand

    No surprise. The police are usually the biggest mafia in their area, and they cannot put up with being exposed for what they are. I’m sure the good ol’ boys in Texas will do everything they can to punish Cooper and make sure no one else tries to expose their criminality.

  3. collapse expand

    I find this case rather intriguing! Is the element of crime met by leaving an anonymous note with a pastor?

    § 37.08. FALSE REPORT TO PEACE OFFICER OR LAW ENFORCEMENT
    EMPLOYEE. (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to
    deceive, he knowingly makes a false statement that is material to a
    criminal investigation and makes the statement to:
    (1) a peace officer conducting the investigation; or
    (2) any employee of a law enforcement agency that is
    authorized by the agency to conduct the investigation and that the
    actor knows is conducting the investigation.
    (b) In this section, “law enforcement agency” has the
    meaning assigned by Article 59.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.
    (c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

  4. collapse expand

    Everyone in Texas needs to vote for Barry when he runs and get his ass elected . I am gonna vote for him and urging friends and family to do the same .

  5. collapse expand

    Odessa American newspaper reports at:
    http://www.oaoa.com/articles/arrested-49299-county-department.html

    Candice Joy Cooper, 31, was arrested by Texas Rangers Monday in Travis County on charges of giving a false report to a peace officer, a Class B misdemeanor.

    They also report at: http://www.oaoa.com/news/pain-47913-wounds-kennedy.html

    The Texas Rangers, for their part, poked around a bit in the beginning but have not opened an inquiry into Moon’s death, Texas Ranger Brian Burney said.

    What, you’re joking, right? The oldest law enforcement body on the North American Continent can work a class b misdemeanor case but cannot investigate a murder, are you kidding me?

    In the video Barry asks “is Brian there?” Is this the same TX Ranger Brian Burney that agreed to reopen the murder case of my nephew, Ryan Adam Moon?

    For more information on the inept and/or corrupt Odessa Police Department, Ector County District Attorney’s office, and I’ll add to that list the Texas Rangers visit http://www.themurderofryanadammoon.webs.com.

    Adam used his last breath of life to name his killer, yet these corrupt agents of justice refuse to prosecute his killer. Why? His killer is their drug informant. They wouldn’t want to jeopardize their drug cases, now would they?

    Instead, they waste resources and taxpayer money to catch a real criminal like Candi. This makes me sick.

    • collapse expand

      Many police agencies, especially in Texas, prioritize drug cases because of property seizure statues.

      I’ve seen big-time meth dealers get probation because they agreed to forfeit their homes, cars, electronics, guns, etc, all thanks to narcotics task forces that essentially shake down arrestees in order to bolster their budget.

      The scenario you propose would not surprise me one bit. I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  6. collapse expand

    I hope someday the Odessa police department & the Ector county district attorneys office is exposed as the corrupt organizations they are. Why are the Texas Rangers investigating a class B misdemeanor? Surely their time would be better spent on…oh, i don’t know, a felony? Ya think? Obviously its a vendetta.

  7. collapse expand

    Barry and Candi, you are two true American heros. I’ve been following you for years now with incredible admiration and respect. The country has become a police state and you two inspire me to fight against it smartly.

    I smell a lawsuit against the Texas rangers. What a bunch of tiny-penis scardy cats to lure Candi out like that to bust her for some non-crime.

  8. collapse expand

    If they only would put out half this effort to catch pot smuggling illegal aliens as they enter texas

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