Defendants in drug dealing case pleaded not guilty
by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press
May 16, 2011 | 3454 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MANTECA — The four co-defendants charged in the operation of a crystal methamphetamine distribution ring outside Tracy pleaded not guilty in Manteca Superior Court on Monday.

Jose Martinez, 50; Javier Rodriguez, 28; Jose Espino, 24; and Sindi Martinez, 25; face charges of possession of drugs for sale and possession of firearms.

The four defendants were arrested Thursday, May 12, when S.W.A.T. officers from Tracy and Brentwood raided an asparagus farm at 15888 S. Tracy Blvd. Assisting in the arrest were officers from Ceres, California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Fish and Game.

During the search of the property — consisting of two houses, two trailers and a large storage shed — officers recovered 1½ pounds of crystal meth, two assault weapons, four rifles and a few handguns.

Investigators called the defendants significant dealers of meth to the Tracy area.

During their arraignment in Manteca, Judge Ron Northup appointed attorney Michael Moore to represent Jose Martinez, while attorney Kristine Eagle spoke on the behalf of the three remaining defendants. Both attorneys entered not guilty pleas for all four defendants, and time not waived for their preliminary hearing.

Since Jose Martinez and Rodriguez both had holds to keep them in custody, Eagle argued to have Sindi Martinez and Espino released on their own recognizance. She said they both had their mother and siblings present in the courtroom, and in the case of Sindi Martinez, she also had two children at home.

Northup denied the request and placed Sindi Martinez’s and Espino’s bails at $100,000 each.

Since both attorneys motioned to not waive time, their pre-preliminary hearing was set for May 23 at 8:30 a.m. and the preliminary hearing was set for May 27 at 8:30 a.m. Both hearings will be in Manteca Superior Court.

All four defendants remain in custody at San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

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