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Drug dealer faces stiff sentence
• Ceres Police offers evidence in trial of Daniel Barajas Martinez

Daniel Barajas Martinez, 37, of Modesto has been convicted of multiple felonies related to the sales of methamphetamine as well as enhancements for committing those crimes while on bail.

Deputy District Attorney Patrick Hogan prosecuted the case.

On February 23, a jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts charged. In a subsequent court trial, Judge Reeves found that the Martinez had been previously convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon in 2005, a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes law. Reeves also found true the enhancements that Martinez committed these crimes while out on bail in another case.

Martinez faces a maximum potential prison term of 16 years and eight months when sentenced on April 1.

On Sept. 25, 2020, Stanislaus County Probation officers went looking for Martinez and found him leaving a Modesto motel room. When told that officers were going to search him pursuant to the terms of his probation from a previous case, Martinez replied, “You’re about to get a promotion.” In the backpack, officers located nearly a pound of crystal methamphetamine, a working digital scale, over $1,000 in cash and several small plastic baggies often used for narcotics sales and distribution.

At the time of his arrest, Martinez was out on bail for two additional drug sales-related cases. One occurred on June 9, 2020 when he was stopped by Ceres police officers for a traffic violation. During a search of his backpack, Ceres officers located nine grams of crystal methamphetamine and over $12,500 in cash.

After being released on “zero bail” for that case, Martinez was arrested again on August 14, 2020 when Modesto Police officers conducting a search of his residence found nearly 120 grams of crystal methamphetamine, multiple working digital scales, narcotics packaging and $12,000 in cash.

All three incidents were consolidated into one criminal case that went to jury trial on Feb. 14 before Judge Dawna Reeves. Evidence presented included testimony from officers from the Ceres and Modesto Police, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, the Probation Department, as well as expert testimony from Modesto Police Department Major Crimes Investigator Jacob Mertz who identified Martinez as a major local distributor of crystal methamphetamine in Stanislaus County.