Ricardo Pineda, courtesy of Smith County

The trial for one of the men accused of shooting assault rifles at Smith County deputies during a high-speed chase in March 2016 is expected to begin Tuesday. 

Jury selection was underway Monday in the trial of Ricardo Martinez Pineda, 36, of Tyler, who will stand trial in the 241st District Court for aggravated assault against a public servant, a first-degree felony.

Pineda was arrested in Corning, Arkansas, about two weeks after the pursuit on County Road 46 and was extradited back to the Smith County Jail, where he has been held on bonds totaling $8 million.

According to authorities, Pineda and Juan Alberto Quiroga, 19, of Tyler, began firing on two sheriff’s vehicles during the March 16 pursuit, which followed an attempted traffic stop during an ongoing drug investigation by the sheriff's office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Bullets struck the lead vehicle multiple times, leaving it disabled. No injuries were reported during the incident. 

Co-defendants Quiroga and Jeremy Allen Robinson, 33, of Hutchins, also were arrested in conjunction with the crime. 

Robinson, who authorities said was driving the vehicle from which the AK-47 and AR-15 were being fired, was arrested at the Residence Inn on Heritage Drive the day after the pursuit. SWAT teams from the sheriff’s office and Tyler Police Department, along with agents from the DEA, converged on the hotel. They found the vehicle, but the license plates had been removed. 

Quiroga turned himself into Smith County authorities about two weeks after the incident and remains in the Smith County Jail, where he is being held on bonds totaling $7 million, according to Smith County Jail records. 

Robinson is being held in the Gregg County Jail on bonds totaling $4.85 million while he awaits trial in Smith County, according to Gregg County Jail records. 

Twitter: @LouAnnCampbell

Crime and Breaking News Reporter

I started working at the Tyler Morning Telegraph in June 2016. I am a retired U.S. Air Force Sr. Master Sergeant. After a 21-year military career, in Security Forces, the military police of the Air Force, I went back to college and studied journalism.

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