HELEN, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man who was among the first to illegally enter the U.S. Capitol as Congress certified President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election has been sentenced to just over three years in federal prison.
Joshua Hughes of East Helena was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly in Washington on Tuesday to 38 months in prison for his actions during the roughly 38 minutes he was inside the Capitol during the insurgency led by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
Hughes, 39, was also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Kelly called the events of Jan. 6, 2021, a national disgrace, Hughes’ attorney Palmer Hoovestal said. Independent recording in an email.
“Without the peaceful transfer of power into a democratic form of government, you have nothing,” Hoovestal wrote. “So he wanted to send a message of general deterrence to the people that if you interfere with the peaceful transfer of power to newly elected leaders, you do so at your own risk.”
Hughes and his brother, Jerod Hughes, 37, pleaded guilty in August to obstruction of official process.
The brothers climbed through a shattered window and Jerod Hughes helped open a door to allow more rioters into the Capitol while Congress certified the 2020 Electoral College vote, the FBI said in reports. charging documents.
The brothers were at the front of a group that was chasing Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman as he backed down a flight of stairs and was able to steer the crowd away from the Senate floor. The brothers then proceeded to the Senate chamber, according to court records.
Jerod Hughes is due to be sentenced on January 6, 2023, the second anniversary of the uprising.
The brothers are among the at least 880 people charged with federal crimes related to the riot.