United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ALISTAIR E. NEWBERN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Jacob Cooper has been indicted by the Grand Jury of the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia on
one count of “knowingly and willfully transmit[ting] in
interstate and foreign commerce from the State of Tennessee
into the District of Columbia, a communication threatening to
‘shoot up,' injure, and cause harm to a Planned
Parenthood facility and individuals therein located in the
District of Columbia, ” in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 875(c). Cooper was arrested in the Middle District of
Tennessee and appeared before this Court on August 26, 2019,
for a hearing on the United States' motion to detain him
pending trial (Doc. No. 2). Based upon the testimony,
evidence, and argument presented at that hearing, the United
States' motion is GRANTED.
defendant may be detained pending trial only upon the
Court's finding that “no condition or combination
of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the
person as required and the safety of any other person and the
community[.]” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(1). The
Court's finding that no combination of conditions will
reasonably assure the community's safety must be
supported by clear and convincing evidence. Id.
§ 3142(f)(2)(B). A finding of risk of flight must be
supported by a preponderance of the evidence. United
States v. Hinton, 113 Fed.Appx. 76, 77 (6th Cir. 2004).
“The default position of the law . . . is that a
defendant should be released pending trial.” United
States v. Stone, 608 F.3d 939, 945 (6th Cir. 2010);
see also United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 755
(1987) (“In our society liberty is the norm, and
detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully
determining whether there are conditions of release that will
reasonably assure the defendant's appearance and the
safety of any other person and the community, the Court must
consider the following factors: (1) the nature and
circumstances of the offense charged; (2) the weight of the
evidence against the person; (3) the history and
characteristics of the person; and (4) the nature and
seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that
would be posed by the person's release. 18 U.S.C. §
Findings of Fact
United States offered evidence in support of its motion
through the testimony of Federal Bureau of Investigation
Agent Richard Baer. Baer became involved in this matter after
the FBI's Washington, D.C. field office identified Cooper
in an investigation of threats made on the website iFunny.co.
Baer conducted surveillance of Cooper and participated in his
arrest. Baer also adopted as his testimony the affidavit of
FBI Special Agent Jamie L. Stranahan made in support of a
warrant for Cooper's arrest.
affidavit, Agent Stranahan stated that, around August 13,
2019, a post made by a person with the username
“JustSomeLeftist” was reposted on the iFunny.co
website. The post stated: “God ive been screen shotting
these crazy assholes accounts for evidence for 2 years now. I
wasn't sure if the FBI took this stuff seriously but now
seeing as they do take it seriously I think its about time I
start filing reports with picture evidence ive had.”
(Gov. Ex. 3.) An individual with the username
“Jacco” commented in response to this post:
“make sure you tell them about how I plan to shoot up a
planned parenthood facility in Washington dc on August 19th
at 3pm.” (Id.) Another user transmitted a copy
of Jacco's post to law enforcement.
then reviewed the account used by Jacco and found a post
republished by Jacco earlier in the day on August 13, 2019,
reading: “IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE FBI, CIA,
WHATEVER, AND ARE ON MY PROFILE I WILL TRACE YOUR IP ADDRESS
AND KILL YOU IF THE OPPORTUNITY ARISES. And I am dead serious
about this. I'll do it with ricin, a bomb, or .308.
Whatever it takes, the end result will be the same. I am
serious about this. If I am personally contacted by any
federal agents, I will do this. I will kill you. Again, I am
serious. Sic semper tyrannis.” (Gov. Ex. 4.) Through
other posts, investigators were able to connect the iFunny.co
username Jacco to the Xbox Gamer tag “Non Toxic
Paint.” The Xbox Gamer account associated with that tag
was created by Cooper in December 2014. Investigators also
found an iFunny.co post made by Jacco on July 15, 2019,
stating “birthday time.” Cooper's date of
birth is July 15, 1999.
identified the IP address used by Jacco to log into iFunny.co
and determined that it was assigned to Cooper with an
associated residential address in Clarksville,
Tennessee.During surveillance of that residence,
investigators observed a man matching Cooper's
description being dropped off at and entering the home.
Cooper was arrested at that address on August 21, 2019. The
home was searched pursuant to a warrant; no firearms were
discovered in the search. Cooper did not resist arrest.
interviewed Cooper's brother after Cooper's arrest.
Cooper's brother stated that he and Cooper spent a lot of
time together gaming and watching livestream events on the
internet. Cooper's brother stated that Cooper could
become aggressive while they played games on the internet and
had punched a hole in a door and threatened his brother with
physical violence during such episodes; Cooper's brother
stated that the aggression was worse when Cooper had been
drinking. Cooper's brother further stated that Cooper has
had suicidal ideations and expressed interest in purchasing a
firearm in the past, most recently after the August 3, 2019
mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
United States introduced into evidence three additional
screen shots of posts made to iFunny.co by Jacco. The first
shows what appear to be stock images of firearms that Baer
testified were not alleged to belong to Cooper. (Gov. Ex. 2.)
The second shows images of Ted Kaczynski surrounding the text
“DO IT FOR HIM.” (Gov. Ex. 5.) The third shows
text reading: “women dont fucking deserve to be the
carriers of human life. they unanimously support abortion and
the degradation of the family at least in the united States.
if only i could impregnate one of my bros. i know theyd be a
better mother than any ‘modern woman.'” (Gov.
mother testified that Cooper has lived most of his life in
Middle Tennessee and has no passport. He recently worked at
Walmart and was to begin a new job as a security guard at
Western State Hospital on the day of his arrest. She has
never seen him in possession of a weapon.
report provided by the Office of Probation and Pre-Trial
Services states that Cooper graduated from high school in
2017 and did not pursue further education. The report shows
that Cooper has no criminal history or substance abuse
history. It recommends that Cooper be detained pending trial