News and Press Releases


January 21, 2005

LEWIS VINCENT HUGHES, 57, of Snohomish, Washington was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour to ten months in prison and three years of supervised release for Resisting and Impeding Federal Officers. In sentencing HUGHES, Judge Coughenour said he was imposing the high end of the sentencing guidelines range because of "the silliness of Mr. Hughes' defiance, and the potential for violence that could have occurred."

HUGHES was arrested August 25, 2004, after a 31 hour stand-off with federal agents, Snohomish County Sheriff's Officers and members of local swat teams. FBI agents had gone to HUGHES' home the day before with a search warrant related to a fraud investigation in North Carolina. HUGHES refused to allow the agents to enter the home and said he had loaded weapons he would use to protect his property if the agents tried to enter. Over the 31 hour stand-off there were numerous attempts to negotiate with HUGHES to no avail. Finally, HUGHES was arrested by FBI SWAT team members when he came out of the house to empty his trash. Inside the home federal agents found four weapons loaded and ready to fire.

HUGHES chose to act as his own attorney at trial with the assistance of two public defenders. He was found guilty on October 22, 2004.

At sentencing today HUGHES repeatedly refused to recognize the authority of the court, calling on federal marshals to take Judge Coughenour into custody. HUGHES said "I demand to be released" and claimed that he was making a citizens arrest of the Judge on charges of treason and sedition. Judge Coughenour instructed HUGHES to sit down and cautioned him that if he fails to comply with the terms of his supervised release he will find himself doing more prison time.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tessa Gorman. For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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