noorvik man sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for illegal possession of firearms
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that a Noorvik man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 51 months in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms.
On June 30, 2011, Jimmy Lee Coffin, 24, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska, was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge H. Russel Holland.
According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh, on August 26, 2010, in the rural Alaskan village of Noorvik, Coffin physically assaulted a Noorvik Village Police Officer by punching him the back of the head and kicking him in the face while he was on the telephone with the Alaska State Troopers in Kotzebue. Coffin then stole two rifles from a cache outside of his uncle’s residence and while holding one of the rifles, he forcibly took the keys to a official law enforcement four wheeler from the hand of a Village Police Officer. After taking the keys, Coffin made threatening remarks about shooting the Alaska State Troopers if they came to find him, then left the village on the stolen four wheeler with the two rifles. Alaska State Troopers from Kotzebue responded to Noorvik and found the defendant hiding on the side of a mountain where he was taken into custody without incident.
In March 2006, Coffin was involved in a stand-off for several hours with the Alaska State Troopers in Noorvik. In that incident, Coffin barricaded himself in a residence with several firearms and threatened to shoot anyone that came in the door. He told Alaska State Troopers that the doorway was rigged with explosives, and that his firearms would penetrate their body armor. When Troopers made entry into the residence, he was taken into custody without incident. Inside the residence, Troopers found several loaded firearms positioned by the doors and windows.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Holland stated that though it was clear that the defendant had a “dysfunctional upbringing,” he had developed a “disturbing history of prior, violent, angry confrontations with law enforcement,” and concluded that Coffin “has a serious anger problem.” Judge Holland focused his sentence on the need to protect the public and law enforcement and the need to deter the defendant and others from similar behavior in the future. Judge Holland specifically noted that the relatively short periods of incarceration in Coffin’s prior state convictions not done an adequate job of deterring his conduct.
Coffin was prosecuted under the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Rural Prosecution Initiative, furthering the Department of Justice’s commitment to improved public safety for rural Alaska and Alaskan tribal communities.
Ms. Loeffler commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Alaska State Troopers for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Coffin.