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Nicholas Gounaris Fights to Defend the Reputation of Daniel “El Chapo Jr.” Jones in Court

Updated: November 23, 2023
Nicholas Gounaris
By Nicholas Gounaris

Nicholas G. Gounaris is a skilled trial lawyer and founding partner of Gounaris Abboud law firm. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

Before he was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, Daniel “El Chapo Jr.” Jones was labeled a danger to society by both the judge and prosecutor. Jones was sentenced to prison and 100 hours of community service or job training by U.S. District Judge Walter Rice on January 4, 2018. Rice said Jones’ sentence would be served consecutively to any sentences given in pending cases in Vinton and Butler counties. So far, Jones has been incarcerated for 21 months.

At the sentencing, Jones’s defense attorney, Nicholas Gounaris, asked Judge Rice to consider his client’s upbringing.  As a child, Jones’ father killed his mother and the only other male role models he had taught him the drug trade. Standing before more than a dozen of Jones’ supporter, Gounaris said, “He can be saved. He is redeemable.”

Rice stated that he believes Jones’ sincerity about changing his life, but that the he “totally lacks tools and ability to carry those promises into reality.” Before his sentencing at Dayton’s U.S. District Court, Jones told Judge Rice that he took full responsibility for his actions and apologized to his friends and family, many of whom wrote letters of support on his behalf.  Jones also said he’d like to be around to help raise his infant daughter.

In a letter written to rice, Jones stated, “I’m not glorifying or excusing my behavior. But I don’t need a decade or two to realize what I did was horribly wrong.”

The calculation for Jones’ non-binding advisory sentencing was from 15 years to 8 months, and 19 years to 7 months. The statutory maximum for the drug conviction was 20 years and a $1 million fine, while the penalty for the weapons charge was 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

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