Halifax police issue new photos of high-risk offender

Philip Croucher, Metro Halifax
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Halifax Regional Police have released two new photos of man they have deemed a high-risk offender after he finished serving a prison sentence for killing two people while driving drunk.

Michael Gerard Cooper, 55, was released from a federal penitentiary the morning of Jan. 21 in New Brunswick after serving a full seven-year sentence for two counts of impaired driving causing death in the killing of Angela Smits, 19, and her boyfriend Michael MacLean, 20, in May 2007 following an accident in Cape Breton.

Cooper has elected to live in HRM, prompting police in Halifax to issue a notification to residents under the high-risk offender information protocol – typically reserved for violent criminals or sex offenders.

Police issued the warning on Tuesday. Twenty-four hours later, police released two new photos of Cooper, ones they say were taken at HRP headquarters in keeping with one of his court-imposed conditions that should he alter his appearance, then new photos must be taken.

The new photos see Cooper without long hair and a large beard, which he was photographed with in the photo released by police Jan. 21. One of the new photos has him with glasses, the other without.

Police say they will be checking up on Cooper regularly, but citizens can call 911 if they see him violating his release conditions, which include a ban on buying or consuming alcohol and driving.

Geographic location: Halifax, New Brunswick, Cape Breton HRM

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