The revelation is one of the most troubling details publicly released by federal prosecutors this week, as it details the scope of the arsenal available to assist pro-Trump rebels who have invaded the Capitol. Others have been charged with smuggling weapons and ammunition into the Capitol, and more charges are expected when a large-scale investigation is launched.
Details of the gun cache in the pickup were contained in federal documents accusing Loni Leroy Coffman of Folkville, Alabama, of federal crimes. A bomb squad opened the arsenal during the clash to secure the federal complex after it was engulfed by protesters protesting against Trump and other bombs were found around Washington.
The Justice Department announced charges against 1
The Capitol Hill uprising rocked the country’s capital, and descriptions of the allegations add to the growing understanding of the extremist elements of the crowd.
While Coffman was arrested and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying a gun without a license, a sworn statement from police on Friday provided some of the most extreme allegations so far about the extent of the danger around the Capitol building on Wednesday.
It was only at the request of congressional aides and allies in the besieged Capitol that President Donald Trump released a video calling for the unrest to “go home” while fueling baseless complaints about stolen elections.
Coffman, 70, told police he had jars for masons filled with “molten styrofoam and gasoline.” Federal investigators believe the combination, if exploded, will have the effect of napalm “to the extent that the flammable liquid adheres better to objects it strikes during detonation,” according to court records.
Police also found rags of cloth and lighters. Court documents say these items and jars filled with explosives “in close proximity to each other are a combination of parts” that can be used as a “destructive device”.
Coffman had parked his pickup at 9:15 a.m. ET on First St SE on a hill near the National Republican Club, commonly called the Capitol Hill Club. This building is located within a block of a large US House office building and the Library of Congress, according to the complaint. The truck also had a pistol in the passenger seat and an M4 Carbine assault rifle, along with cartridges for rifles loaded with ammunition, police said.
When police found him and searched about a block after dusk, Coffman also carried a 9mm pistol and a 22 caliber pistol in each of his front pockets, the police complaint said. None of the weapons found in his truck or on his face were registered to him.
Coffman appeared before a federal judge this week and was detained at least until his next appearance on Tuesday. He has not yet made a legal ground in court. The federal attorney representing him did not respond to a request for comment on the charges against him on Friday.
Federal fees have also been announced
A total of 13 people are facing federal charges stemming from the riot, the justice ministry said on Friday.
Full court records have not yet been provided to all defendants and only a handful have appeared in court. In addition to the accused, the Ministry of Justice stated that “additional complaints have been filed and investigations are ongoing”.
Hoffman is not the only person now facing arms charges. Christopher Alberts of Maryland was accused of wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a pistol and 25 rounds of ammunition on the Capitol grounds.
“The illegal destruction of the Capitol building in the United States was an attack on one of our nation’s largest institutions,” acting U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin said in a news release Friday.
“My office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, has worked expeditiously and used all resources to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in the heinous crimes in the US Capitol.”
Stephen D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C., said: “Just because you left the DC region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out you were part of the Capitol crime.” , “
“The FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation,” he said, noting that agents from all 56 field offices were involved in the investigation, scratching videos, social media posts and public advice.
“Today’s fees are just the beginning of the results of the extensive work done by the FBI and our partners over the past few days, and we are far from done,” D’Antuono added.
The announcement was echoed by Ken Cole, the second highest-ranking official in the U.S. DC Attorney’s Office, who said Friday, “We have literally hundreds of prosecutors and agents working from three command centers for what is actually a 24-hour operation.”
He added: “The department will not spare resources in our efforts to hold all these people accountable. It will be something we will continue to work on for the next hours, days and weeks as we continue this investigation.”
A man who took a picture of Pelosi’s desk has been arrested
According to a criminal complaint, Barnett, known as Bigo, is charged with knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building or land without legal permission, forcible entry and hooliganism on the grounds of the Capitol, and theft of public property.
It was not immediately clear whether Barnett had a lawyer.
Barnett is in FBI custody in Benton County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Office Lt. Shannon Jenkins told CNN. “He’s in FBI custody. He wasn’t booked at our facility. He was transported to another facility and in FBI custody,” she said in an email.
When asked, Jenkins did not name the facility where Barnett was transferred.
Authorities say Barnett was caught on video surveillance entering Pelosi’s office around 2:50 p.m. ET with an American flag and a cell phone and leaving six minutes later with his cell phone alone.
Barnett was photographed with his boot leaning against Pelosi’s desk and the flag hanging nearby.
He later spoke to the media and was caught on video holding an envelope from Pelosi’s office. Barnett told the reporter, “I didn’t steal it.” He said he bled the envelope and “put a quarter on her desk,” according to lawsuits signed by a special agent at the Capitol Police Department.
Capitol Hill security issues are becoming big
Even with more arrests in connection with the Capitol violation, lawmakers say they are puzzled by the lack of preparedness among law enforcement, given that it has been known for weeks that Trump is promoting a rally he says he has aimed at preventing certification from Joe Biden’s victory.
In response, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Stephen Sand resigned. In a statement Thursday, he said Capitol police and other law enforcement officials had been “actively attacked” with metal pipes and other weapons.
“They were determined to enter the Capitol building, causing great damage,” Sund said.
“The violent attack on the US Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30s in law enforcement here in Washington,” he added. “Maintaining public safety in an open environment – especially for First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge.”
Direct marketing company Navistar, for example, announced that an employee had been fired after being photographed wearing his company identification badge in the broken Capitol.
“While we support the right of all employees to exercise their freedom of speech in a peaceful, lawful manner, any employee who exhibits dangerous behavior that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer be able to work at Navistar Direct Marketing,” the statement said. of the company to CNN.
This story was updated with additional information on Friday.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.