Appearing in court Tuesday were Rodrigo Velarde, 35; Arturo Martinez Alvarez, 35; and Jose Eduardo Cabral, 28.
The fourth defendant in the case, Jose Manuel Meza, 32, is scheduled to be arraigned in Manteca court at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10. Deputy District Attorney Robert Baysinger said he was not sure why Meza was separated from the other three men for arraignment.
All four men are from Tracy.
Velarde, Alvarez, Cabral and Meza are charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Velarde faces additional charges of being armed with a firearm, receiving stolen property, possessing a firearm as a narcotic addict, and armed criminal action.
All four men were arrested during a federal search by DEA agents at a house on the 11600 block of Larch Road at 6 a.m. Friday.
Speaking through a Spanish interpreter in court Tuesday, Velarde told Judge Ron Northup that he had hired a lawyer. But Northup, who did not see the attorney in the courtroom, appointed Velarde a public defender and said Velarde could have his own lawyer represent him at future court hearings.
Alvarez told Northup through the interpreter that he wanted to speak to a court-appointed attorney, while Cabral said in Spanish that he was innocent and did not have the money to hire a lawyer. Northup appointed attorneys for both.
The judge also addressed Alvarez about a second criminal case pending against him for possession of a controlled substance, driving without a license and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Northup ordered the three defendants return to court for further arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Northup set bail at $200,000 for Velarde and $50,000 each for Alvarez and Cabral. All three were in custody at county jail as of Tuesday afternoon. According to the sheriff's website, however, Alvarez is under a no-bail hold by the U.S. Border Patrol, but no additional information was available.
Meza was bailed out of San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on Dec. 1, according to DEA Agent Casey Rettig.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or email@example.com.