Jose Martinez, 50, and Jose Espino, 24, both pleaded no contest to charges they were in possession of crystal methamphetamine for sale with a firearms possession enhancement. Both agreed to accept a sentence of four years, four months in state prison.
Defendant Javier Rodriguez, 28, who was described by the prosecution as a homeless man, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 180 days in San Joaquin County Jail and five years of informal probation.
The charge against the fourth defendant in the case, Sindi Martinez, 25, was amended from a felony to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. She was given time served in county jail, four years informal probation, and ordered to attend a 12-week parenting class. If she fails to attend the parenting class, officials told her, her sentence will be changed to four years formal probation.
All defendants pleaded guilty after they were given the opportunity to discuss the offer from Deputy District Attorney Ron Indran. The offer was in lieu of standing trial on criminal charges.
In addition to pleading guilty, Espino, Rodriguez and Jose Martinez were also ordered by Judge Ron Northup to pay restitution and to register as narcotics offenders after they complete their sentences.
Outside the courtroom, Indran commented on the case.
“We have been on this guy’s scent, Jose Martinez, for almost two years,” he said. “It took a lot of effort from different agencies, and we were fortunate it went smoothly. The Tracy police did a fine job, and Detective Ernesto Ferraro deserves special recognition.”
According to Tracy police officials, the four defendants were dealing crystal meth from an asparagus farm at 15888 S. Tracy Blvd. They were described as substantial drug dealers in Tracy and San Joaquin County.
On the morning of May 12, officers from Tracy, Brentwood, Ceres, California Highway Patrol and California Fish and Game raided the farm and discovered 1½ pounds of crystal methamphetamine inside a storage locker behind the main house. Officers said the drugs had a street value of $18,000.
Also found at the farm were two assault weapons, four rifles and a few handguns.
Rodriguez, Espino and Jose Martinez are scheduled to return to Manteca Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. June 29 for formal sentencing.