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Heroin dealer's punishment upgraded to intensive community control

Cary Ashby • Feb 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM

A Norwalk man who violated his probation now will be on intensive community control.

The underlying convictions for Devin S. Espinoza, 27, were one count each of trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin. Respectively, the convictions covered a Nov. 29, 2012 controlled drug buy and a Dec. 3, 2012 offense.

During Monday's hearing, Espinoza admitted he tested positive for cocaine, opiates, oxycodone and methadone during a Dec. 6 drug screen. He also failed to enter a substance abuse treatment program as ordered by the court.

"He still needs that treatment," probation officer Jim Zappa told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

Zappa recommended the defendant receive outpatient treatment so he can keep his job.

The officer said Espinoza's problems started when he moved without permission. Zappa said although he OK'd the residence, the Norwalk Police Department later used a tip and found a fugitive staying there. Espinoza was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Zappa said he instructed the defendant to move out and live with his mother, which he did.

Defense attorney Reese Wineman said his client is aware of what he faces if there are further probation violations.

"Prison is not that far away if he doesn't comply with (intensive probation) and get that treatment," Wineman told the judge.

At the request of the state, Conway authorized Espinoza to be on the work release program if his probation officer imposes a discretionary 90-day jail term. Espinoza could face 18 months in prison for any further probation violations.

Espinoza's original crimes were part of a drug operation in which "quite a bit of drugs were sold and brought into this county," a prosecutor said earlier.

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