Ector County prosecutors will not prosecute former narcotics agent turned marijuana activist Barry N. Cooper and two others on charges filed this summer by the Texas Rangers in connection with the December 2008 Kopbusters hoax.
County Attorney Cindy Weir-Nutter said Tuesday her office rejected the Class B misdemeanor charge of filing a false report to a peace officer because the charge does not reflect the facts of the case.
“The statute in Texas requires that the false report be made during an investigation, and there was no ongoing investigation,” Weir-Nutter said. “You have to be able to prove all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The dismissal includes the same misdemeanor charge filed against Cooper’s wife, Candi Cooper, and 50-year-old Tammy Grimes of Gardendale, who was accused of being an accomplice in the Kopbusters hoax. The decision to dismiss the charges came despite a lengthy criminal investigation into a faux marijuana grow house that Cooper organized as a ruse to expose what he insisted was corruption and incompetence within the Odessa Police Department.
Cooper said he set up the grow house after he was hired by the father of Yolanda Jean Madden, an Odessa woman who for months claimed police conspired to plant drugs on her. Madden, who had her conviction set aside for a new trial, recently pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to time served.
The investigation spanned more than a year and was eventually handed over to Texas Ranger Brian Burney, who decided to file charges after determining Cooper’s fingerprints were found on an anonymous letter sent to police alerting them of the grow house on Lotteman Drive.
Burney filed an affidavit saying it was “obvious that the information given to the Odessa Police Department was false and deceptive with the intent to cause a reaction from officers who were conducting the investigation.”
“It’s kind of a big slap in the face to the Texas Rangers,” Cooper said Tuesday. “I know the law. It’s not hard to read.”
“This further proves that these cops are retaliating on us,” Cooper said.