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2 arrested in Ogden as part of Salt Lake crime crackdown

Wednesday , September 13, 2017 - 3:37 PM

MARK SHENEFELT, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — The Operation Rio Grande crime crackdown in Salt Lake City extended to Ogden this week when narcotics agents arrested two people on felony charges.

The Rio Grande effort, launched recently to stem crime around the downtown homeless shelter in Salt Lake, pointed agents to suspected drug dealing at an Ogden home, the Utah Department of Public Safety said in a news release.

RELATED: Salt Lake has more jail beds to aid in Rio Grande crackdown

Officers served a search warrant Tuesday, Sept. 12, and arrested Chris William Espinoza, 50, on a felony parole violation. He is suspected of possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute and child endangerment, the news release said.

His wife, Sonya V. Espinoza, 52, is suspected of felony child endangerment, according to Weber County Jail booking records.

Chris Espinoza remained jailed Wednesday. Sonya Espinoza posted $5,250 bond and was released. Neither had been charged in court as of Wednesday afternoon.

Agents seized two firearms, more than $53,000, 12 grams of meth, half a pound of heroin, 1 gram of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, DPS said.

DPS investigators, the Ogden Police Department, the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and Utah Adult Probation and Parole participated in the bust, the news release said.

Second District Court records show Chris Espinoza was on probation since January after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility. That offense occurred while he was serving a sentence from a shoplifting conviction.

Sonya Espinoza has no criminal convictions, according to state court records.

Operation Rio Grande’s phase one aims to “identify, arrest and lock up dangerous criminals” in the Salt Lake district. Phases two and three will concentrate on substance abuse and mental health treatment and job programs.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at Follow on Twitter at @mshenefelt and Facebook at


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