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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JULY 18, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS BAIL BONDSMAN OF ILLEGAL PHONE TAP


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a part-time bail bondsman from Sparta, Mo., was convicted by a federal jury today for wiretapping a Springfield woman’s telephone.


             Richard A. Hugh, 54, of Sparta, was found guilty of intercepting the telephone communications of a Springfield resident without permission.


             Hugh placed the phone tap on the victim’s telephone line in December 2005 in an attempt to get information that would help him locate Basil Minor, who was a fugitive in a Lawrence County, Mo., circuit court case. Hugh recorded conversations from that telephone from Dec. 13 to 24, 2005, using equipment he purchased at Radio Shack.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in U.S. District Court in Springfield deliberated about an hour before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Monday, July 16, 2007.


            Under federal statutes, Hugh could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard E. Monroe. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html