‘El Chapo Jr.’ pleads guilty to fentanyl, gun charges

Daniel Jones

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Daniel Jones

Daniel E. Jones pleads to two of four charges in indictment; to be sentenced July 13

The man who called himself ‘El Chapo Jr.’ and bragged about being Dayton’s biggest drug dealer during a hours-long standoff with law enforcement pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court.

Daniel E. Jones, 29, pleaded guilty in Dayton to two of four indicted counts — possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearms. In exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors dropped the other two counts.

Also, prosecutors removed language from the second count that said Jones had more than 400 grams of fentanyl so that there was no minimum mandatory sentence.

EARLIER: ‘El Chapo Jr.’ pleads not guilty, trial set

“The reason the case was taken federally was just the amount of fentanyl involved in it,” assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi said, adding that it was one of the largest seizures the FBI and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has made. “This was a substantial quantity seized at one time.”

Wearing blue Montgomery County Jail clothing, Jones said, “guilty” when asked for his plea. When asked by Rice what employment he’s had as an adult, Jones responded, “Not much.”

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice said the maximum combined sentences for the two charges were 30 years and a fine of $1.25 million.

EARLIER: Tear gas, water cannon used to coax Jones out of apartment

Defense attorney Nicholas Gounaris calculated his client’s non-binding advisory guideline sentencing range from 151 to 188 months — or 12 years and seven months to 15 years and eight months.

Jones’ sentencing was scheduled for July 13.

Jones was arrested in early April 2016 after a standoff at The Meadows of Catalpa apartment complex in Harrison Twp., where police said he posted a live Facebook feed of him next to a fire in a bathroom and saying, “No evidence on me buddy.”

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A search warrant affidavit said law enforcement seized three cell phones, a tablet computer, more than $100,000 in cash and three suspected burnt kilograms of fentanyl.

“Just given Mr. Jones’ interactions with law enforcement at the time,” Tabacchi said. “He was a prime candidate for federal indictment and resolving the case by plea.”

According to the Vinton County Common Pleas Court, Jones was charged in September 2014 with felony drug trafficking, weapon possession as a felon, misdemeanor marijuana possession, OVI and driving under suspension.


Jones was arrested in Butler County on Dec. 18, 2015, on charges accusing him of rear-ending a Middletown EMS unit on its way to Atrium Medical Center as he was trying to elude Ohio Highway Patrol troopers.

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