News -- August 27, 2022: Two brothers from Montana entered a guilty plea to a criminal charge Thursday for their participation in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. They interfered with a joint session of the U.S. Congress
called to determine and tally the electoral votes for the presidential election. Other people also interfered with the joint session.
Both Joshua Calvin Hughes, 38, and Jerod Wayne Hughes, 37, of East Helena, Montana, entered guilty pleas to obstruction of an official action in the District of Columbia.
According to court records, the brothers went to a rally close to the Ellipse on January 6, 2021. They then proceeded to the U.S. Capitol, where they broke the law by entering the building and its grounds. On the northern flight of stairs on the Capitol Building's west side, they joined a group of rioters. They were a part of the group who pushed through a line of police officers at the top of the stairs, causing them to flee. At around 2:13 p.m., both males entered the Capitol Building through a window near to the Senate Wing Door that had been broken by other rioters. On January 6, Joshua and Jerod Hughes were some of the initial rioters to enter the Capitol Building.
Jerod Hughes joined another rioter in the building and attempted to kick open the Senate Wing door. The men continued to move, trailing other rioters into the Ohio Clock Corridor as they pursued a Capitol Police officer. Jerod Hughes yelled and made hostile gestures against the officers there during a standoff. They then made their way to the Senate Gallery and went inside. They were among the first rioters to reach the Senate Chamber at around 2:48 p.m. They spent around two minutes walking around the senators' desks before leaving the Capitol.
On February 1st, 2021, both men were detained in Montana. They will be given a sentence on November 22, 2022. For obstructing an official proceeding, they risk a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison as well as possible financial fines. After taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other legal considerations, a federal district court judge will decide on any sentence.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice's National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana offered significant support.
The Salt Lake City Field Office of the FBI, its Helena, Montana Resident Agency, the FBI's Washington Field Office, which listed Joshua Hughes as #42 on their seeking information pictures, and the Metropolitan Police Department are all conducting investigations into the crime. The U.S. Capitol Police provided significant support.
Over 860 people have been detained in virtually all 50 states in the 19 months since January 6, 2021 for offenses connected to the breach of the US Capitol, including over 260 people accused of assaulting or obstructing law officers. The inquiry is still ongoing.
WNCTIMES by Marjorie Farrington