DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Brandon Bonaparte Brown
, United States Attorney

Convicted Felon Found Unconscious in Vehicle Flees Police Resulting in Crash and Federal Prison Time

LAFAYETTE, La. — U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Jorel Hughes, 40, of Opelousas, has been sentenced for illegally possessing a firearm. U.S. District Judge David C. Joseph sentenced Hughes to 126 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Hughes pleaded guilty on Aug. 18 to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

On July 12, 2022, officers with the Lafayette Police Department encountered Hughes while he was seated in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and parked adjacent to a fuel pump at a RaceTrac gas station in Lafayette. At the time, Hughes appeared to be in a drug-induced unconscious state and officers and other first responders rendered aid to him, including administering two doses of Narcan. While providing aid to Hughes and before he regained consciousness, officers located two firearms near Hughes in the vehicle. Officers later learned that Hughes had previously been convicted of a felony offense and one of the firearms had been reported stolen.

When Hughes regained consciousness, he did not comply with officers and instead resisted their efforts to detain him, attempted to disarm one of the officers, and crashed into other vehicles as he drove the vehicle out of the gas station parking lot. Hughes fled the scene at a high rate of speed, eventually crashing into a drainage ditch and then attempted to flee the crash on foot. Hughes was apprehended by officers and arrested. Hughes admitted to being a convicted felon and possessing the firearms, knowing that he was prohibited from doing so.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Lafayette Police Department and Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danny Siefker.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Justice Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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New Orleans Field Division