HELENA — Two East Helena men have pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official preceding at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021 after agreeing to a plea deal.
A plea hearing for Joshua and Jerod Hughes was held Thursday before United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Timothy J. Kelly.
The brothers were facing nine charges also including obstruct/impede/interfere with law enforcement during a civil disorder and entering the Capitol Building with the intent to disrupt official business. However, by pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding, the government has agreed to drop the other charges. They have also agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution for damages to the Capitol Building that day.
The East Helena brothers were some of the first rioters to enter the U.S. Capitol during the riot.
(Watch video of when rioters first entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021)
Footage from the Department of Justice shows the two men entering through a broken window on the Northwest side of the building shortly after 2:12 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021.
Jerod can be seen on security video attempting to kick open a locked door. With assistance from another man, the two are able to force open the door. The brothers then moved with the crowd toward the Senate chamber.
On their way, they encountered Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman who led rioters away from the Senate as it was still being evacuated. Goodman has been hailed as a hero for his actions, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
The Hughes Brothers were later seen on the floor of the Senate looking at documents and papers left by senators and Senate staff.
Under sentencing guidelines, the recommended sentencing for Joshua is 41 to 51 months in prison. The recommended sentencing for Jerod is 51 to 63 months in prison. A fine of $15,000 to $150,000 has also been recommended.
However, the ultimate decision on sentencing is up to the federal judge. A tentative sentencing date has been set for November 22, 2022 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.