On Monday, July 18, John Pantoja, 35, and Joseph Luis Martinez, 31, were in Stockton Superior Court for further arraignment on a variety of criminal charges.
Indicted by a grand jury on July 1, both face allegations of crimes including selling narcotics and street terrorism. Pantoja, considered by police as the ringleader of the gang, also faces charges that include possession of a firearm and receiving stolen property.
At their hearing Monday, attorney Russell Humphrey and attorney Michael Platt entered not guilty pleads for their respective clients, Pantoja and Martinez. Both attorneys also filed for time not waived, which will speed up the court proceedings.
Both defendants are expected back in court for an evidence, discovery and motion setting Aug. 9, followed by a readiness hearing Aug. 19. All hearings will be in Stockton Superior Court in Department 35 at 9 a.m.
If the defense and prosecution are ready following the two hearings, jury trail assignment will begin Sept. 2 at 8:15 a.m. in Department 25.
Both men were arrested, along with 25 other known members of the Norteño street gang, during a multi-jurisdictional sting dubbed Operation Gateway on June 9.
The third shot-caller in the gang, 28-year-old Matthew Espinoza, is expected back in Stockton court at 2 p.m. July 25 in Department 35.
All three men remain in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp. Pantoja is being held on $5.8 million bail, Martinez on $1.9 million, and Espinoza on $2.7 million.