A jailed Capitol rioter pleaded guilty on Friday to bringing a firearm and several Molotov cocktails to Washington, D.C. on January 6.
While appearing virtually in front of U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, 71-year-old Lonnie Coffman of Alabama, first admitted that he brought an unregistered firearm without a license to Washington, D.C. on January 6.
According to Scott MacFarlane of WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., Coffman also admitted to bringing several Molotov cocktails near the Capitol on January 6. MacFarlane reported that during his hearing, Coffman argued that he had the Molotov cocktails found in his truck for several years and didn’t believe they were destructive.
In response, Kollar-Kotelly said that she would not accept Coffman’s plea deal if he argued that the Molotov cocktails weren’t destructive, but he eventually admitted that it was unlawful to possess them and the judge accepted that they were “destructive devices.”
Coffman was not charged with participating in the January 6 Capitol riots but instead he was arrested after he attempted to get into his Red GMC Sierra truck, which was parked within a police permitter near the Democratic national headquarters. As he was attempting to retrieve his vehicle, police noticed a handgun on the floor of his truck.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., a further search of Coffman’s vehicle uncovered “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.”
His truck was found near the Republican National Committee headquarters and Democratic National Committee headquarters, where pipe bombs were also discovered. Coffman is not accused of planting those pipe bombs.
According to the Huffington Post, Coffman also entered a guilty plea for possessing the Molotov cocktails in Alabama.
After Coffman was arrested on January 6, prosecutors alleged that he was living in his vehicle for several days near the Capitol.
“Coffman has been in custody since his arrest on January 6,” the Attorney’s Office said in a press release. “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.”
Since the Capitol riots, when supporters of former President Donald Trump breached the building in an attempt to stop the certification of votes for the 2020 presidential election, over 600 people have been charged.