LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - A convicted felon from Opelousas will spend the next decade behind bars after he tried to drive away from Lafayette Police who caught him passed out in a parked vehicle near a fuel pump at a local RaceTrac gas station.

Generic Photo of RaceTrac, Facebook via RaceTrac
Generic Photo of RaceTrac, Facebook via RaceTrac
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On July 12, 2022, Lafayette Police officers say they had to revive 40-year-old Jorel Hughes with two doses of Narcan as he was unconscious in the driver's seat, apparently from being in a drug-induced state. While first responders were giving Hughes aid, they noticed two firearms near him inside the vehicle. Turns out, one of the firearms had been reported stolen and he had previously been convicted of a felony offense.

Narcan, unsplash via NEXT Distro
Narcan, unsplash via NEXT Distro
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Once Hughes became conscious, officers say he not only wouldn't comply with them but he also tried to disarm one of them and crashed into other vehicles as he drove out of the gas station parking lot. Hughes sped away at a high rate of speed before crashing into a drainage ditch. He was caught on foot and admitted to being a convicted felon and to possessing the firearms despite being prohibited from doing so.

Hughes pleaded guilty on August 18, 2023, to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. In November, United States District Judge David C. Joseph sentenced Hughes to 126 months (10 years, 6 months) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for illegally possessing a firearm.

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According to KLFY, Hughes faced numerous charges including two counts hit and run, resisting an officer, battery of a police officer, simple criminal damage to property, aggravated flight from an officer, illegal possession of a stolen firearm, attempting to disarm a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
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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 United States 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 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. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.

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