Lonnie Coffman: Alabama Man Arrested, Charged With Possessing Molotov Cocktails at Capitol

Cleveland Meredith

Getty Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.

Lonnie Leroy Coffman, 70, of Falkville, Alabama, was arrested for allegedly possessing 11 Molotov cocktails near protests at the US Capitol, according to the US Department of Justice.

Police found three guns and components to make Molotov cocktails with mason jars in his pickup truck, and he was arrested when he returned to his truck, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a slew of arrests following the January 6, 2021 protests, including Jacob Anthony Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, of Arizona, and Adam Johnson of Florida. Authorities said Chansley was the man who appeared in the Capitol wearing a horned helmet and red, white and blue face paint, and Johnson was the man pictured carrying Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. David Blair of Maryland was charged for allegedly attacking officers with a lacrosse stick.

Here’s what you need to know:


Coffman Is 70 & Could Face Up to 15 Years in Prison if Convicted of His Charges

Coffman was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device, and one count of carrying a pistol without a license, according to a criminal complaint filed in his case. The destructive device charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and the firearm charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office.

When Coffman was returning to his pickup truck, he asked officers if they “located the bombs,” according to court documents filed in his case. Officers asked him further about the question, and determined he was referring to a perimeter police set up to locate explosive devices at the National Republican Club and the Democratic National Committee, which prevented him from returning to his truck earlier. Investigators determined he was not responsible for those explosive devices, court documents said.

The statement says:

As alleged in the Complaint, 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. 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.

Later that evening, Coffman was stopped in the vicinity of his truck when he attempted to return to his 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.


Coffman Has No Criminal History in Alabama & Is a ‘Big Trump Supporter’

Coffman’s ex-wife told Alabama.com her ex-husband is “a big Trump supporter.” She said at the time of the interview she was not aware of the arrest, and did not provide further comment. The news outlet reported he has children, but did not say how many. He had an address listed in Eva, Morgan County, Alabama and previously lived in Cullman County. The news outlet said he did not appear to have a social media presence.

Coffman had no prior arrests, and law enforcement officials in Cullman County and Morgan County told Alabama.com they have had no known dealings with him.

His federal detention hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, according to the US Attorney’s statement.

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