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Man who brought 'small armory' to Capitol on Jan. 6 sentenced to 46 months in prison

Lonnie Coffman, 72, had several weapons and Molotov cocktails in his truck on the day of the riot.
Lonnie Coffman, circled in red, with Trump supporters in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, in an image from surveillance video.
Lonnie Coffman, circled in red, with Trump supporters in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, in an image from surveillance video.U.S. Capitol Police

WASHINGTON — An Alabama man who brought a truckload of weapons, ammunition, and Molotov cocktails near the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 was sentenced to 46 months in prison on Friday.

Lonnie Coffman, 72, who has been detained since his arrest nearly 15 months ago, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

He pleaded guilty in November. Under a plea deal, 46 months was at the top of the agreed upon sentencing guideline range. Kollar-Kelly agreed with the probation office that 46 months was appropriate in Coffman's case.

"I don't think in all my years as a judge I've had such a collection of weapons," Kollar-Kotelly said. "He had like almost a small armory in his truck, ready to do battle."

Coffman, a veteran who was described by a family member as "a hermit," tearfully told the judge that he would spend most of his time with family if he was released. He also described what it's like to send time in jail.

In a letter to the judge, he said he had come to D.C. to get answers about the 2020 election and that he and other Trump supporters had wrongfully believed it was stolen.

“My objective was to try to discover just how true and secure was the election on November 3rd 2020. Did my vote go to the people I intended it to?” he wrote.

Coffman also said that he accepted full responsibility for his actions on Jan. 6 and had "no intentions to hurt anyone or destroy any property."

The public could not see Coffman during the virtual court hearing, but the judge's remarks indicated that he reacted emotionally to learning that he still had to serve more time behind bars.

"From my perspective, you will still have a life ahead of you," Kollar-Kotelly said. "Don't shake your head, you still will."

Authorities recovered handwritten notes from Coffman's truck, including a list of individuals, some of which were identified as "good guys" and "bad guys," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

At his house, prosecutors said, law enforcement also found a list of public figures under a heading that read: "Use White Pages to Locate People." The list identified those public figures with descriptions including “ex Dem. Senator, traitor,” “Billionaire left[i]st, traitor,” “radical Dem. Senator,” and “billionaire oilman & fund-raiser for Obama."

Prior to his arrest, Coffman attempted to drive to the home of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and called his office in an effort to "help with the election fraud he saw," according to the memo. A Cruz staffer said that Coffman seemed "unbalanced" and "not 100% there" during the Dec. 2020 call.

More than 775 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and more than 225 have pleaded guilty. The FBI has more cases in the works.