Prison for man who park weapons near Capitol 1/6

A pickup truck laden with weapons and Molotov cocktail ingredients was parked near the U.S. Capitol by an Alabama man. Capitol, on Friday last year's riot, was sentenced to almost four years imprisonment

Prison for man who park weapons near Capitol 1/6

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar Kotelly stated that she has not heard any explanation as to why Lonnie Leroy Coffman was carrying "almost a little armory in his truck ready to go to battle." She gave credit to Coffman for the more than a year he has already served since his arrest.

Coffman, 72-year-old from Falkville in Alabama, stated that he did not intend to harm anyone or cause any damage. Coffman stated that he went alone to Washington "to see how secure and true the 2020 presidential election was."

He wrote a handwritten note to the judge, "If I had any doubt that things would turn up like they did, then I would have stayed home."

Federal crimes have led to more than 770 people being charged in connection to the Capitol Riot. This occurred when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building to disrupt the formal certification of his defeat by the lawmakers. Five people were killed and many Capitol Police officers sustained serious injuries.

More than 240 people were involved in the attack. They pleaded guilty to misdemeanors that can lead to a maximum six-month imprisonment. Over 130 people have been sentenced. Coffman is among nine defendants who have received sentences exceeding one year.

Coffman was a Vietnam War veteran and served in the U.S. Army. He pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered gun and carrying a firearm without a license in November. According to prosecutors, he was carrying a loaded revolver and handgun as he walked through Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. According to prosecutors, he is not accused of joining the mob or entering the Capitol that day.

According to prosecutors, Coffman's truck was parked a few blocks away from the Capitol in the morning of Jan. 6. It contained a handgun and a rifle as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Prosecutors said each jar contained gasoline and Styrofoam which are both components of homemade incendiary devices known as Molotov cocktails.

Coffman's truck was searched by law enforcement officers who found the cache of weapons. After pipe bombs were discovered near the headquarters of both the Republican National Committee (DNC), and the Democratic National Committee, they had been cleaning the area. Investigators later found Molotov cocktail ingredients at Coffman’s Alabama home.

Assistant U.S. attorney Michael Friedman stated that "possession of so many dangerous weapons in the nation's capital was uniquely offensive to our democratic political traditions."

One of the handwritten notes found in the vehicle contained a quote that Abraham Lincoln said: "We The People Are Both The Rightful Masters Of The Congress and The Courts, But Not To Overthrow It, But To Overthrow Men Who Pervert It."

Prosecutors said that the notes contained a list of "good men" and "bad men", with the name of a federal judge in the latter category. They also included contact information for a member a Texas militia group called the "American Patriots".

Prosecutors wrote that the handwritten notes included an address for Camp Lonestar in Texas, where militia groups were alleged to have sought to patrol border looking for illegal aliens.

According to prosecutors, investigators had previously identified Coffman at Camp Lonestar as an armed participant.

Coffman was a retired machine operator who had traveled to Washington in December 2020. He tried to drive to the residence of a U.S senator, but he wasn't listed in a court filing. Coffman also called the senator's bureau to try and "help with the election corruption he saw."

Prosecutors wrote that a staff member from the Senator's Office noted that the defendant appeared 'unbalanced or 'not completely there' during the call. However, he did not appear threatening."

Prosecutors suggested a sentence of three years and six month in prison. Manuel Retureta, the defense attorney, stated that a sentence of approximately three years and six months would not be appropriate due to Coffman’s age and his medical condition.

Coffman had no criminal record prior to this case.

He wrote to the judge, "At my age one of the most valuable (things) is time, and almost a whole precious years have been wasted,"


 

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