LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — An Opelousas man found unconscious at a Lafayette gas station after a drug overdose will spend over 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.

Jorel Hughes, 40, of Opelousas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Joseph to 126 months (10 years, 6 months) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Hughes pleaded guilty on Aug. 18.

On July 12, 2022, officers with the Lafayette Police Department encountered Hughes
while he was seated in a vehicle parked at a fuel pump at a RaceTrac gas station in Lafayette. At the time, police said Hughes appeared to be in a drug-induced unconscious state and officers and other first responders rendered aid, including administering two doses of Narcan.

Before Hughes regained consciousness, officers located two firearms near Hughes in the vehicle. Officers later learned that Hughes had previously been convicted of a felony offense and one of the firearms had been reported stolen, authorities said.

When Hughes regained consciousness he resisted efforts to detain him, attempted to disarm one of the officers and crashed into other vehicles as he drove the vehicle out of the gas station parking lot, according to prosecutors. Hughes fled the scene at a high rate of speed, crashed into a drainage ditch and then attempted to flee the crash on foot.

Prosecutors said Hughes was apprehended by officers and admitted to being a convicted felon and possessing the firearms, knowing that he was prohibited from doing so.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Lafayette Police Department and Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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