An Endicott farmer charged with several felonies in a major wheat rustling case has pleaded guilty.
James Hughes pleaded guilty Friday to four counts of first degree felony theft in Whitman County Superior Court. In return for the plea, prosecutors dropped the remaining 16 counts of theft.
The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office found that Hughes stole wheat from Whitgro -- formerly St. John Grain Growers -- between August of 2009 and July of 2011. Hughes was working as a trucker for the co-op but was selling their loads in his name at wheat terminals along the Snake River.
Authorities had alleged that the thefts involved over $1 million in wheat.
Hughes was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution.