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Falkville Capitol riot suspect pleads guilty to multiple felony charges

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 11:40 AM CST
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WASHINGTON D.C., Ala. (WAFF) - The Department of Justice has reached a plea agreement with Lonnie Coffman. He was arrested on 17 firearm and weapon charges following the January 6th violence at the U.S. Capitol building.

On November 12, Coffman pled guilty to two federal counts of illegal possession of a firearm and Molotov cocktails. He also pled guilty to one local charge in DC for having a pistol without a license.

Lonnie Coffman pled guilty to an Alabama-based charge of possession of an illegal firearm as well.

During the plea agreement hearing on Friday, there was some disagreement on if the Molotov cocktails found in his truck were too old to function. Coffman’s team initially argued the devices were old and the gas in them had evaporated. The objection was eventually dropped and he pled guilty.

Sentencing for Coffman is set for April 1, 2022. He faces three to five years in prison for the felony charges with the final sentence determined by the judge.

The Department of Justice released the following at 12:15 p.m. on Friday:

Lonnie Leroy Coffman, 71, of Falkville, Alabama, pleaded guilty today to federal and local firearms offenses stemming from the discovery of weapons in his pickup truck parked near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

According to his plea agreement, Coffman traveled from Alabama to the District of Columbia several days prior to Jan. 6 and parked his red GMC Sierra pickup truck at the 300 block of First Street, SE, on the morning of Jan. 6. Less than half a mile away in the U.S. Capitol Building, a joint session of the U.S. Congress was scheduled to meet in the afternoon to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Coffman admitted in the plea agreement that he exited the pickup truck at 9:20 a.m. and walked in the direction of the U.S. Capitol Building, and towards a rally near the National Mall. Inside the pickup truck were several loaded firearms within arms-reach of the driver’s seat, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, large-capacity ammunition feeding devices, a crossbow with bolts, machetes, camouflage smoke devices, a stun gun and a cooler containing 11 mason jars filled with ignitable ingredients for Molotov cocktail incendiary weapons. Coffman also carried a loaded handgun and a loaded revolver as he walked around the area that day. A search of Coffman’s residence in Alabama later that month led to the discovery of 12 additional mason jars containing ignitable substances, each constituting the component parts of Molotov cocktails.

Coffman did not have a license to carry a pistol in the District of Columbia and had not registered any firearms or destructive devices in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required by law.

Coffman has been in custody since his arrest on Jan. 6.

Coffman pleaded guilty in two separate criminal cases, one brought in the District of Columbia on Jan. 6, and the other brought in the Northern District of Alabama and transferred to the District of Columbia for purposes of plea and sentencing. Coffman pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of an unregistered firearm, a federal offense, regarding the component parts of Molotov cocktails discovered in his pickup truck in Washington, D.C., and at his residence in Alabama. Coffman also pleaded guilty to carrying a pistol without a license, a District of Columbia offense.

The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled sentencing for April 1, 2022. Coffman faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the federal offenses and faces up to five years in prison and a $12,500 fine for the District of Columbia offense. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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