Remaining defendants in shooting in federal custody

A third man has yet to be arraigned on a charge of attempted capital murder stemming from a May shooting because he is in federal custody.

Jose Mario Cardeñas, 29, was scheduled to appear before state District Judge Bobby Flores to enter a plea Tuesday, but that didn’t happen.

Cardeñas, along with Yamil Garza Villarreal, 32, and Francisco Gilberto Garcia Mayo, 25, have yet to be arraigned on the Aug. 22 indictment because they all remain in federal custody.

The trio is charged along with Jose Reducindo Anaya III, 22, Jose Javier Solis, 37, Victor Ramirez, 24, and Jesus Martinez, 29, on allegations they shot two men during a May 31 attempt to abduct people being smuggled illegally into the country.

That charging document alleges the group was “going to a location to obtain possession or abduct smuggled persons, shooting at individuals in a motor vehicle occupied by smuggled persons, and/or following a motor vehicle occupied by smuggled persons.”

Mayo is currently awaiting sentencing on a convicting for re-entry after deportation as well as waiting for sentencing for violating his supervised release after being convicted of smuggling nearly 575 pounds of marijuana.

Villarreal is currently in federal custody in Corpus Christi for violated his supervised release after he was convicted of attempting to smuggle an undocumented woman through the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint.

As for Cardeñas, a search of publicly available court records did not return any criminal complaints or indictments against the man.

Court staff on Tuesday, however, said he was in federal custody.

The men may not face arraignment on the attempted capital murder charges until their federal cases conclude.

All of the remaining defendants have entered not guilty pleas to charges of attempted capital murder, engaging in an organized criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and deadly conduct discharge of a firearm.