Man who landed gyrocopter outside Capitol will plead guilty

Douglas Hughes
Douglas Hughes, AP Photo

WASHINGTON – A man who flew a gyrocopter through some of America’s most restricted airspace before landing outside the U.S. Capitol earlier this year will plead guilty to a felony in connection with the incident, his lawyer says.

Attorney Mark Goldstone said in an email Thursday that his client Douglas Hughes is expected to plead guilty to operating a gyrocopter without a license, a felony, on Nov. 20 in federal court in Washington.

Goldstone says Hughes faces three years in prison, but the government and Hughes’ defense lawyer agreed that sentencing guidelines don’t apply.

Hughes was arrested April 15 after flying the bare-bones aircraft from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Washington. He said his flight was an act of civil disobedience intended to call attention to the influence of big money in politics.

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