Crime

Gulfport woman admits knowing of husband's alleged drug trade involving military members

David Cooper
David Cooper

GULFPORT -- A Gulfport woman has admitted she knew about her husband's alleged drug-trafficking trade, that included synthetic narcotic sales to military members, but failed to report it to authorities.

Regina Cooper, 48, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a bill of information charging her with misprision of a felony. She's facing a maximum prison sentence of three years, up to $250,000 in fines and up to year of post-release supervision.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden set a Jan. 26 sentencing date. Other charges against her will be dropped at her sentencing.

Cooper and her husband, David Cooper, 44, were arrested on charges of conspiring to distribute meth, Ecstasy, alprazolam and synthetic narcotics similar to Spice or bath salts.

A six-count indictment says the Coopers conspired to distribute the drugs in Harrison County and elsewhere from December 2012 until their June 23 indictment.

Among their customers were military personnel who wanted synthetic narcotics because they didn't show up on drug tests, an agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics assigned to Homeland Security Investigations said in a court hearing.

Authorities arrested the couple in May 2014, a short time after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at a New York City airport intercepted a package of drugs from India addressed to David Cooper. That discovery led to the seizure of other packages containing drugs that authorities intercepted in Gulfport.

At the couple's home, authorities also seized other assorted drugs, equipment used to weigh and package drugs and postal-tracking receipts. The shipments were addressed to David Cooper and came from other countries, including China and Pakistan.

On a video recovered by authorities, an MBN agent testified, David Cooper can be seen manufacturing a controlled substance. On the same video, the agent said, is a small child and in the audio David Cooper is heard complaining about his pill press not working.

David Cooper is set to go to trial Nov. 9.

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