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Welcome to Hark Herald Press Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 11:26 PM UTC

CAPITOL RIOTER PROFILE: Lonnie Coffman, 70, from Alabama

Capitol Riots Extended Coverage
  • Wednesday, January 13 2021 @ 09:31 PM UTC
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A federal grand jury on Monday, January 11 issued a 17-count indictment against Lonnie Coffman, 70, of Alabama for possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. It is alleged that Coffman’s vehicle contained 11 explosive devices known as Molotov cocktails and firearms. It is further alleged he was in possession of two firearms. Coffman was arrested and is currently being held. His detention hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021.

Lonnie Coffman walkng with a group of people

Zoomed in shot of Coffman

As alleged in the Complaint (link below), on January 6, U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers responded to reports of possible explosive devices in the area around the United States Capitol. In the course of conducting a protective sweep of the area, officers observed the handle of what appeared to be a firearm on the front right passenger seat of a red pickup truck with Alabama tags. Police said they found Coffman's truck parked on a block behind the Cannon House Office Building and the Library of Congress.

A law enforcement database check of the vehicle registration revealed that the vehicle was registered to Lonnie L. Coffman with a home address in Falkville, Alabama. USCP Bomb Squad members subsequently searched the vehicle and secured one black handgun, one M4 Carbine assault rifle along with rifle magazines loaded with ammunition, and components for the construction of eleven “Molotov Cocktails” in the form of mason jars filled with ignitable substances, rags, and lighters. Investigators also discovered a shotgun, a crossbow with bolts, several machetes, smoke bombs and a stun gun.

Around 6:30 p.m., a woman drove Coffman up to the 400 block of First Street Southeast, a block away from Coffman's truck. Coffman told officers at the scene he was trying to get back to his parked vehicle. Coffman was subsequently searched and found to have on his person a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun, a 22-caliber derringer style handgun, and two sets of vehicle keys that matched the truck. When asked, Coffman told officers that the mason jars contained melted Styrofoam and gasoline. ATF advised that the combination of melted Styrofoam and gasoline is an explosive mixture that has the effect of napalm because, when detonated, the substance causes the flammable liquid to better stick to objects that it hits.


CLICK HERE FOR EVIDENCE PHOTOS

Law enforcement reviewed video surveillance footage from the area where the vehicle was discovered. The video footage indicates that the vehicle was parked there at around 9:15 a.m., and that around five minutes later one and only one individual departed the vehicle from the driver’s side door. The video footage reveals that the person who departed the vehicle was wearing a jacket with a patch consistent with clothing worn by Coffman when he was arrested.

Coffman possessed "concerning" handwritten notes that named an Obama-appointed federal judge a "bad guy," singled out a Muslim representative --Rep. Andre Carson-- and listed contact information for conservative media personalities, according to court records.

In a Tuesday night statement, Carson said he learned of the note from press reports.

"Sadly, as a Black man and a Muslim fighting for equality, I have often been the target of death threats by domestic terrorists. For years, I have warned my colleagues about the serious threat to national security by white nationalist domestic terrorists," Carson said.

The materials were unsealed Tuesday in the federal case Coffman. Prosecutors included photos of his various weapons and handwritten notes in a motion for pre-trial detention, arguing the "handwritten messages raise alarm in the context of the Jan. 6 rioting and criminal infringement on our nation's democratic process."

"The defendant brought these weapons to the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Capitol Building, and traveled the area with two firearms on his person," the motion for pre-trial detention states. "The amount of weapons suggests an intent to provide them to others, as no one person could reasonably use so many at once. The nature and seriousness of the danger that the defendant would pose if released cannot be overstated."

The indictment states that Coffman, who lives near Falkville in north Alabama, had been living out of his pickup truck in the D.C. area for a week prior to the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol and that he is unemployed.


LINKS

Federal Complaint: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1351661/download

SOURCES

https://www.al.com/news/2021/01/lonnie-coffman-alabama-man-caught-with-molotov-cocktails-in-dc-planned-to-give-out-weapons-feds-say.html
https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2021/01/12/lonnie-coffman-indicted-17-federal-charges-molotov-cocktails-guns/6639217002/
https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/alabama-man-charged-possession-eleven-molotov-cocktails-found-near-protest-us-capitol

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