Man Faces Sentencing For Bringing Guns, Molotov Cocktails To U.S. Capitol Ahead Of Riot

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – An Alabama man on Friday could be sentenced to more than three years in prison for bringing a pickup truck full of firearms, ammunition, and Molotov cocktails to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, when former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Lonnie Coffman, 72, who already pleaded guilty to possessing unregistered firearms, is due to face a federal judge at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

Coffman faces 37 to 46 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is hearing Coffman’s case, has the authority to go below that range.

Of the more than 100 defendants who have been sentenced so far, most have received probationary sentences or short jail sentences of less than two months. Coffman’s could be among the stiffest handed down so far, after sentences of 63 months and 51 months to people who assaulted police officers.

Coffman has been in custody since his arrest on Jan. 6, 2021, and his lawyer has argued that further incarceration is not warranted in light of his age, health, remorse and acceptance of responsibility.

Police officers arrested Coffman near the Capitol after noticing the handle of a gun in his pickup truck while they were responding to pipe bombs left outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, both of which are near the Capitol.

Inside Coffman’s truck, officers found an AR-15-style rifle, a shotgun, a crossbow, several machetes, smoke grenades and 11 Molotov cocktails. They also found a note with the name of at least one member of Congress and a judge, alongside the notation “bad guy.”

Prosecutors said at the time that the combination of weapons and political messages “suggest that these weapons were intended to be used in an effort to violently attack our elected representatives.”

About 800 people face criminal charges relating to the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, which forced lawmakers to go into hiding during the certification over President Joe Biden’s election victory.

(Reporting by Jan WolfeEditing by Alistair Bell)

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Written by Reuters


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