Justin Coffman, a 29-year-old from Jackson, is facing a federal charge of being a drug user in possession of firearms after a police raid on his home in June turned up two guns and Coffman allegedly admitted to smoking one or two grams of marijuana per day.
The Justice Department has used the same charge to go after white supremacists and neo-Nazis whose conduct didn’t constitute an obvious violation of any other federal statutes. That federal charge is relatively rare: One federal judge declared it “unusual,” and a federal public defender said he never saw federal prosecutors move forward on it during his entire 30-year career.
Coffman was also indicted by a Madison County grand jury and is facing several state charges: “possession of a hoax device,” which is a felony, and six misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. DOJ’s press release, which describes the mock Molotov cocktail as a “glass bottle containing a liquid substance,” makes clear it lacked the critical component: an accelerant.