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Man who destroyed gate at Navy facility seeking fishing hole gets time served

BANGOR, Maine — A local man who admitted he destroyed U.S. government property by driving through a closed gate at the Cutler Naval Support Activity installation in search of a fishing hole was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to 44 days in jail or time served.

Richard Hughes, 30, of Glenburn waived indictment in May and pleaded guilty to destroying government property by driving through a closed gate at the Cutler Naval Support Activity installation while his driver’s license was suspended, according to court documents.

Hughes was free on $5,000 unsecured bail but failed required drug tests at least twice, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody Mullis said Friday. Hughes also did not show up for scheduled drug tests.

He surrendered Sept. 1 to the U.S. Marshal Service and had been held at the Piscataquis County Jail since then awaiting sentencing.

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On Friday, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ordered Hughes to pay $6,222 in restitution to replace and install a new gate at the Cutler facility.

In addition to jail time, Hughes was sentenced to three years of supervised release. He was ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment, drug testing, pay nearly $7,000 in back child support for his three children and to abide by other conditions.

Mullis recommended Hughes spend one more day behind bars. His attorney, Federal Public Defender James Nixon, recommended the sentence Woodcock imposed.

Hughes apologized for his actions Friday.

“I know what I’ve done is wrong and I make no excuses for it,” he told the judge.

In the early morning hours of June 5, 2015, Hughes drove a truck owned by his employer, Hahnel Brothers Co. of Lewiston, through the gate on the Navy’s Cutler site after he had visited at least two bars, Woodcock said in describing the crime.

Hughes was working at the site the previous day for Hahnel Brothers, which was contracted to repair a roof at a facility located at the former naval base, according to court documents. He and another employee, who has not been named, left work on June 4, 2015, in a company truck but returned in the early morning hours the next day and destroyed the gate.

“This was an utterly foolish crime,” Woodcock told Hughes in imposing the sentence. “You had four reported incidents with police after you pleaded guilty to this crime and were on federal bail. The need to protect the public is obvious. Is the defendant ever going to stop violating the law?”

Woodcock warned Hughes the consequences would be severe if he violates his supervised release.

“I will put you in jail in the blink of an eye of an eye and it won’t be for 45 days or time served,” the judge said.


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