Texas fugitives arrested in Corning

CORNING, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas State Police arrested two men wanted out of Texas in Region 8 Monday.

According to a press release from the Smith County Sheriff's Office in Texas, deputies tried to stop a black Nissan Altima on Monday, March 21.

The car began to speed off and a pursuit ensued. Smith County Sheriff's Deputies chased the car at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

During the chase, two sheriff's vehicles were shot at from the front passenger side and rear windows of the suspect vehicle.

After an investigation, it was determined that at least two high-powered assault weapons, an AK 47 and an AR 15, were used against the deputies, according to the press release.

The suspect that deputies were attempting to stop was a known leader of a methamphetamine drug operation, Ricardo Martinez Pineda, also known as Rico. He was seen getting into that Altima on Highway 64 in Tyler, Texas.

Smith County Sheriff's Detectives, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were in a joint investigation to find Pineda.

This Monday, at around 5:30 p.m., the Smith County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division received credible information about where Pineda was.

He was believed to be in Corning. The Smith County Sheriff and CID Lieutenant Paul Black contacted the Arkansas State Police to request assistance.

The current ASP Colonel, Bill Bryant, is a former co-worker of both Sheriff Larry Smith and Lt. Black from when they worked at the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"It makes all the difference in the world as to the relationships built and maintained in law enforcement throughout one's career in situations like this," Sheriff Smith said. "It's great to be able to pick up the phone and be able to reach out to past co-workers that you have known for years and have developed good rapport with."

Arkansas State Police troopers immediately went to Corning as detectives from the Smith County Sheriff's Office, special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms continuously provided information to assist them in finding Pineda.

Around 10 p.m., ASP troopers saw a vehicle leaving the house they were watching.

Pineda was found in the car and arrested. He was taken to the Clay County Detention Center pending extradition to Smith County.

Another man, Juan Alberto Quiroga, was also arrested in this case. He was arrested Sunday, according to the release.

It did not elaborate on Quiroga's part in the crime, but he and Pineda are both charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant.

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