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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Missouri
Teresa A. Moore, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 7, 2024

Independence Man Sentenced for Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence man was sentenced in federal court today for possessing methamphetamine to distribute and illegally possessing a firearm.

Sigal Wesley Hughes, Jr., 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 12 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 13, 2023, Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Independence police officers conducted a traffic stop on April 15, 2023, when they saw Hughes driving a 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe with a stolen license plate. Hughes returned to turn the vehicle off as commanded so one of the officers deployed stop sticks in front of the rear passenger tire while another officer opened the driver’s door. Once the door opened, Hughes rapidly accelerated, and a pursuit was initiated. The Tahoe eventually traveled off the road into Blue Valley Park and became disabled. Hughes fled on foot and was taken into custody.

During the pursuit, officers saw Hughes discard a black bag from his vehicle that contained a loaded Cobra .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun and an ammunition magazine. The bag also contained 17.4 grams of methamphetamine. Officers found drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

Hughes told officers he’d been selling methamphetamine for the past three months and using methamphetamine every day.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Hughes has four prior felony convictions for tampering, three prior felony convictions for receiving stolen property, three prior felony convictions for driving while suspended/revoked, theft, stealing a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess Michaelsen. It was investigated by the Independence Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


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