Rodrigo Velarde, 35, Arturo Alvarez, 35, Jose Cabral, 28, and Jose Meza, 32, appeared together in court on Tuesday.
All four are charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Velarde also faces additional charges of being armed with a firearm, receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm as a narcotics addict, and armed during a criminal act.
Judge Ron Northup granted a motion by the defendants’ attorneys to reschedule the arraignment to Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Cabral appeared in court on his own free will after posting $130,000 bond. Meza also appeared in court free on an unknown bond.
According to the San Joaquin County Jail website, bail is not being allowed on Velarde and Alvarez due to U.S. Border Patrol holds on two different and unrelated cases. Both men appeared in shackles and San Joaquin County Jail issued clothing on Tuesday.
The hearing was the first time all four men appeared in court together since their arrest by Drug Enforcement Administration agents at a house on the 11600 block of Larch Road at 6 a.m. on Nov. 30.
Velarde, Alvarez and Cabral first appeared in the Manteca court on Dec. 4 for their arraignment hearing while all three remained in custody of the county jail.
Meza, bailed out of jail on Dec.1, appeared briefly in the Manteca court on Monday morning. His hearing was delayed so that all of the defendants could be arraigned at the same time on Tuesday.
Three of the defendants used a Spanish interpreter. Meza speaks English and addressed the court himself. All four men declined to enter pleas to their charges. They are not required to do so until the case moves past the arraignment phase.
After the hearing, Attorney John Casenave his law partner, John Noonan, was hired to represent Meza. Casenave was appearing on Noonan’s behalf on Tuesday.
Attorney Preciliano Martinez said outside the courthouse that he was hired by Velarde. Alvarez and Cabral have court-appointed attorneys, Stacie Bo Derman and Jay Childs.
Outside the courthouse, an unidentified woman with Meza said that he wasn’t going to comment about the case.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or email@example.com.