A 24-year-old man from Blair, Nebraska was sentenced to 117 months in prison after pleading guilty to plotting to kill a federal wildlife officer. According to witnesses, Cody Cape, who was under investigation for poaching, staked out the officer’s home and voiced plans to murder him using explosives.

Cape’s involvement with the officer started in October 2020, when he and a friend were approached by the officer in the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge and cited for fishing and hunting violations. Later that year, in November, the officer started investigating Cape for several deer poaching incidents on the refuge between Iowa and Nebraska. 

On Christmas Eve, 2020, Cape’s friend, identified as Victim 2, picked up Cape in his car. Victim 2 said Cape told him to drive past the officer’s house. Cape yelled and cursed out the window of the car when they did. Then Cape forced Victim 2 at gunpoint to drive around and look for the officer. 

Cape told Victim 2 he’d been watching the officer’s house for weeks. According to Victim 2, Cape said he had access to TNT and C4 from ex-military members and said he would wire the explosives to the officer’s truck and throw dynamite through the windows of his home. Victim 2 said he didn’t want to accompany Cape, but he feared for his life. They never found the officer, and after dropping Cape off, Victim 2 called the police. 

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On Christmas night, Blair police officers drove to Cape’s home to arrest him. Cape left his house with a woman and drove away from the police who eventually pulled him over and found a .45-caliber revolver in the car. When the officers interviewed the woman, she said Cape told her he wanted to shoot up the wildlife officer’s house. Police also interviewed Cape’s mother who said he told her he wanted to make explosives to kill the officer. 

After getting caught by the police, Cape was interviewed by the FBI and USFWS officers. He admitted he’d made the threats, though he said he was under a lot of stress because of the poaching investigation and not serious about killing the officer. When asked about the C4, Cape said “I don’t know where the f@&! I’d get that s*!#$.” Cape was sentenced to federal prison. He will serve just under 10 years and a supervised term of three years after he gets out.