An Alabama man who parked a pickup truck filled with weapons near the U.S. Capitol on the day of last year’s riot was sentenced Friday to nearly four years in prison.
Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Falkville, Alabama, had “almost a small armory in his truck, ready to do battle,” according to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who added that she still hasn’t heard an explanation for why the 72-year-old Coffman traveled to Washington DC with a portable which also included the components for making Molotov cocktails.A Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Army, Coffman pleaded guilty in November to possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying a pistol without a license. His pickup truck, parked just a few blocks from the Capitol, contained a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a crossbow, machetes, a stun gun and a cooler containing eleven mason jars with holes punched in the lids, according to prosecutors. Each jar contained a mixture of gasoline and Styrofoam, which are components of the homemade incendiary devices called Molotov cocktails, prosecutors said. Coffman was also carrying a loaded handgun and revolver without a license as he walked in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, according to prosecutors. He isn’t accused of entering the Capitol or joining the mob during the riot that day.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly sentences Lonnie Coffman to 46 months, citing "almost a small armory" in pickup truck he drove from Alabama to DC in Jan 2021. Coffman is 72, has some mental & physical problems so judge recommends medical unit in Butner NC prison. https://t.co/y1CZRZEFl8
— Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie) April 1, 2022
Coffman was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison, giving him credit for the more than one year he already has served since his arrest. He told the judge that despite the weapons he brought, he never intended to hurt anybody or destroy any property. He said he drove to Washington alone “to try to discover just how true and secure was the (2020 presidential) election.” In a handwritten letter to the judge, Coffman said he was caught by surprise at the events at the Capitol. “If I had any idea that things would turn out like they did, I would have stayed home,” he wrote.
A judge has sentenced Lonnie Leroy Coffman to 46 months in prison for bringing weapons to Washington, D.C., in his truck, which he parked near the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Learn more at https://t.co/Q3nvegyobc.@FBIBirmingham @USAO_DC
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) April 1, 2022