Joe Cooper sentenced to six months - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Joe Cooper sentenced to six months

Former political operative Joe Cooper was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday morning in federal court.

Cooper pleaded guilty to money laundering, admitting to taking cash payments of more than $43,000 from two drug dealers who leased cars from him while he was a salesman at Bud Davis Cadillac. 

"I'm not mad about it. I was prepared to go in there today and accept whatever he came down with. The other side of the coin: it could've been a lot worse," Cooper said.

Authorities charged Cooper after one of those men, Korreco Green, agreed to help prosecutors by taping Cooper.

"I started off doing something incredibly stupid and bad, I decided to make it right or try to," Cooper said.

Cooper then became a federal informant in the cases against former city council members Ricky Peete and Edmund Ford, whom he alleged were taking bribes in exchange for votes on the council.

Cooper took an undercover camera into meetings with Ford and Peete. Peete pleaded guilty, while Ford went to trial and was found not guilty.

Federal prosecutors recommended a lighter sentence for Cooper because he became an informant for their cases again Edmund Ford and Ricky Peete.

"I love Memphis. And I love politics. And I love government. And I was part of a cancer that needed to to be cut out. And a lot of it was," Cooper said.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Green said he would delay the beginning of Cooper's prison sentence because Cooper's wife has medical problems.

Cooper's sentence also included six months of home detention and two years of supervised release.

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