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Press Release

Harlan Man Sentenced to Prison for Drug User in Possession of a Firearm Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Blake Edward Cooper, age 51, of Harlan, to 60 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to drug user in possession of a firearm. Cooper was ordered to serve a period of supervised release of three years to follow his prison term and pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund. There is no parole in the federal system.

On July 29, 2019, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was advised that Cooper made threats to kill law enforcement officers and innocent civilians. Specifically, Cooper sent a text message to a person he knew, which read:

There gonna come for me: I bet this week. Collateral damage is key to whether or not people get informed as to how rigged the whole family law system is. It’s sad to say, but I need as much collateral damage as possible. If a cop gets shot -in the leg while serving a warrant, that’s local news. If 6 cops get killed, 4 wounded and several innocent civilians get killed or severely wounded, then it becomes national news. And that’s the only way anything is ever gonna get stuff changed. And now that my whole plan had to be revealed to you, you will be an accessory.

Cooper also sent the same person a photo of a box along with the following message: “Package came today; 50lbs of -ammonia nitrate. Google that.” In addition, Cooper sent an order confirmation email showing that he purchased 50 pounds of ammonium nitrate on July 25, 2019. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cooper’s residence on July 30, 2019. They found 21 firearms, ammunition, 50 pounds of ammonium nitrate, and materials that could be used to make an explosive device. They also found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Cooper admitted to being a regular user of methamphetamine.

This investigation was conducted by the Iowa State Fire Marshal, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated January 7, 2021

Firearms Offenses