Judge goes above recommendation to sentence local man known as ‘El Chapo’

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Williams, also known as "El Chapo," told his younger brother in court to not make the same mistakes he did

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — As the U.S. Marshals who tracked him for two years looked on, a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge Thursday went over the recommendation by attorneys to sentence Richard Williams.

Williams, 26, also known as “El Chapo,” was sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Anthony Donofrio in three separate cases.

He pleaded guilty in September to three counts of felonious assault, tampering with records, identity fraud, receiving stolen property and possession of fentanyl charges, as well as a gun charge.

In November, Marshals tracked Williams to an Austintown hotel where they say he rammed a police car as he was trying to get away. Reports said there was a gun and fentanyl in the car. 

Two of the felonious assault charges are from 2016 when Williams was indicted for shooting at people in a moving car. No one was hurt.

Originally, prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed on a three-year sentence for Williams. Judge Donofrio said he would not abide by the recommendation, however, because of Williams’ past history and also the fact he was on the run for two years.

Judge Donofrio called his conduct “life-threatening” and “reckless.”

He said the fact that Williams has used or had guns with him, even though he is prohibited from having them, is also a factor in his decision.

Williams apologized to Marshals and also turned to tell a younger brother to not make the same mistakes he did.

“This ain’t the route you want to go,” Williams told him.

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