Jesus Cesar Martinez, 39 and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32, are charged after allegedly planting firearms as evidence that resulted in falsely arresting Antonio Rhodes and Johnny Yang in 2011. The two former deputies have been charged with two felony counts of conspiring to obstruct justice and altering evidence. Martinez faces two additional felony counts of perjury and filing a false report. Johnny Yang pleaded no contest to the charge stemming from the false arrest and was sentenced to a year in jail. Yang had already pleaded no contest to possessing ecstasy in the presence of a firearm before investigators determined the evidence was planted by the deputies.
The District Attorney's Office dismissed the charges of Rhodes possessing an unregistered firearm, and Yang for being falsely arrested for possessing ecstasy pills in the presence of a firearm. According to the complaint, Martinez claimed he seen a man partake in a drug deal and reached for a gun in his shorts pocket. The deputy then said he followed suspect into the dispensary and found a discarded firearm near the trash bin and another firearm on top of the desk next to ecstasy pills. Paez allegedly crawled under the desk and shut down the dispensary's video camera system before planting two firearms on top of the desk and withdrawing one from a drawer and placing it on the chair. Martinez then allegedly shut off the electricity to the building. The deputies did not obtain a search warrant before entering the dispensary.
In the report that the deputies filed, they claimed that they found the gun near the trash bin and the other on the desk. The sheriff's Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau began investigating the incident a year later and found that the video from inside then dispensary was inconsistent with the report filed by the deputies. Martinez and Paez were each arrested and released later that day on $50,000 bail. If convicted, each face more than seven years in state prison.