Federal Prisoner Corvain Cooper is Serving Life for Marijuana

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CorvainCooper4-16Corvain Cooper, #64301-112
Offense: Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana; Money Laundering;
Sentence: Life Without Parole – Natural Life
Incarcerated Since: 2014
Date of Birth: 11/2/1979
Family: 2 young daughters, elderly parents
Priors: Possession and Sales of Marijuana

About Corvain Cooper and His Case

While most of the men we know serving life for marijuana are senior citizens who have been incarcerated for decades, the practice of handing out life sentences for nonviolent marijuana “crimes” continues. Corvain Cooper, one of the newest marijuana lifers we have identified (thanks to his fellow marijuana lifer inmate Paul Free), received a sentence of life without possibility of parole in 2014!

Marijuana lifer Corvain Cooper with his mother and oldest daughter, USP Atwater, 2016

Marijuana lifer Corvain Cooper with his mother and oldest daughter, USP Atwater, 2016

In January 2013, Cooper was indicted for violations of Federal Marijuana Distribution and Money Laundering statutes in the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte. Corvain has never been to Charlotte nor does he know anyone who lives there. No matter. The way conspiracy laws in this country work, the person convicted is responsible for the crimes of everyone involved, often while the true guilty parties do little to no prison time.

Corvain had two priors in the state of California, for the possession and transportation of one-half pound of marijuana. He served a two-year sentence and with good behavior he spent a little less than a year in a California state prison and was released July 22, 2012.

After his release Corvain “put that life behind me.” He trademarked his own clothing line” “Old Money,” got engaged to his girlfriend Susaun, and became an active member of the Faith Full Central Church of Inglewood, California.

Corvain resumed work on his clothing line and enjoyed spending time with his children and family. Life was good until January 28, 2013. As he was preparing to go to his daughter’s drill team competition, federal agents arrived and, in front of his children and neighbors, arrested Corvain and extradited him to Charlotte to face charges.

Corvain Cooper with fellow Marijuana Lifer Paul Free, at USP Atwater

Corvain Cooper with fellow Marijuana Lifer Paul Free, at USP Atwater

In 2010, unbeknown to Cooper, a childhood friend of his got caught with 338 pounds of marijuana. Eighteen months later this “friend” began to “cooperate” with authorities and named Corvain as a conspirator. During the time of the investigation, Cooper was incarcerated on his prior possession offense.

Due to the distance, his family could not afford to visit him or attend his trial in Charlotte. The entire case was built around coerced testimony, switched statements, and the truly guilty making up lies about others in order to get time cut off their own sentences.

Corvain was “offered” 15 to 20 years if he pled guilty to something he knew he had not done. He was facing a life sentence if he exercised his Constitutionally guaranteed right to fight the charges and lost. He did the only thing he felt was correct.  Believing in the American system of justice, he took it to trial thinking the truth would come out.

During the first two days of trial, Corvain Cooper’s name was not mentioned at all. The investigators had never seen him nor had anyone in the bank where the deposits had been made.

On the second day of trial, the government offered him a “deal” to receive a lower sentence if he agreed to testify against two defendants on trial. Corvain had previously and unsuccessfully moved to sever his trial from theirs.

Corvain Cooper, sentenced to life for marijuana in 2014, with his oldest daughter.

Corvain Cooper, sentenced to life for marijuana in 2014, with his oldest daughter. (Photo by fellow marijuana lifer Paul Free.)

Because he would have had to lie against the two defendants he knew nothing about, Corvain refused the government’s “deal.” The next day Cooper learned that those defendants had made deals of their own to lie about him. Both came to trial testifying for the government. Corvain was found guilty and sentenced to spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Corvain Cooper was convicted without any marijuana, “ghost dope” as it is called. He received an “851 enhancement” for the one-half pound of marijuana prior conviction, which is what lead to his life sentence.

Even though he has never committed a violent crime, Corvain Cooper is serving a longer sentence than most of those who commit murder. He pleads: “Please help me and please help to change these Draconian laws. I just want to get back to my kids and my family. My parents are elderly and fear they will never see their son again. This really upsets me more than words can express.”

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