Youngstown suspect known as local ‘El Chapo’ pleads guilty to several charges

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Attorneys had planned on a sentence for Williams Wednesday, but Judge Donofrio said he wanted a presentence investigation before he hands down the sentence

Richard Williams pleaded guilty to several charges in Youngstown, Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A man who was on the run for two years and captured by U.S. Marshals in November after ramming a police car pleaded guilty Wednesday to several charges in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Richard Williams, 26, aka El Chapo, pleaded guilty before Judge Anthony Donofrio to three counts of felonious assault, tampering with records, identity fraud, a gun charge, receiving stolen property and possession of fentanyl in three different cases.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of four years. If he is given the maximum sentence on each charge, he could be sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Sentencing will be October 17 following a presentence investigation.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force watched as William’s entered his pleas. 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.

The tampering with records and identity fraud charges stem from a driver’s license application Williams made in 2017 using someone else’s name.

The remaining felonious assault charge, as well as the drug and weapon charges, results from his arrest by the Marshals.

Attorneys had planned on a sentence for Williams Wednesday, but Judge Donofrio said he wanted a presentence investigation before he hands down the sentence. Judge Donofrio said he wanted the investigation before sentencing because some of the charges are several years old and they occurred before he was on the bench in 2018.

That fact that Williams eluded capture for two years also was something he wanted to study further, Judge Donofrio said.

“That presents some concern to the court,” Judge Donofrio said.

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