Copperhead grew up in the Florida Everglades and spent a lot of time driving speedboats. He eventually entered the world of underground boat racing in Japan, Monaco, and the US. He also has an extreme gambling addiction and created a large debt. Lucky for him Cobra was in need of a skilled boat pilot with no fear.
Cobra Commander offered to pay off his debts in return for his service. He apparently still engages in gambling and racing and became intimately familiar with the Amazon Basin.
Copperhead's first mission for Cobra was rescuing Cobra Commander, with the aid of Zartan, from a
G.I. Joe prison. He was also part of the mission to kidnap Ahmed Hassan.
Later he took part in a mission to steal a large diamond in Amsterdam. Cobra needed the diamond to power a laser. This mission failed thanks to the intervention of Cover Girl and a small team of Joes. Cobra Commander later placed Copperhead in charge of his Python Patrol.