Second suspect, 16, charged in Vero Lake Estates double homicide

Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers PHOTO BY JOSHUA KODIS

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Surveillance footage showing teens plotting to shoot two Brevard County men if a drug deal went awry, led to another arrest in the Vero Lake Estates double homicide. The second suspect, a 16-year-old who lives in the large subdivision, was spotted shaking hands with the shooter after the deadly gunfire, Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said.

The sheriff described the scenario as a cold-blooded killing over marijuana vape pens.

“Lives wasted for no reason whatsoever,” Flowers said during a news conference Monday at the sheriff’s office. “To kill them is completely unbelievable and unnecessary.”

A surveillance image shows Jaime Mosqueda (left), 17, of Fellsmere, shake hands with a 16-year-old after a double fatal shooting March 11, 2024 in Vero Lake Estates. PHOTO BY JOSHUA KODIS

Flowers showed a screengrab from a nearby home surveillance video of the pair greeting each other right after the shooting. The sheriff said the teen and the 17-year-old, Jaime C. Mosqueda, of Fellsmere, were friends.

“Our team has been combing the area that we know they traveled,” Flowers said. “We obtained quite a bit of surveillance footage.”

Now – days after deputies charged Mosqueda in the double killings – officials have charged the 16-year-old with two counts of third-degree murder. The teen was also charged with two counts of accessory after the fact.

The 16-year-old, whose identity was not publicly released, was arrested on Saturday, five days after the shootings and four days following Mosqueda’s arrest.

“We’re not naming him. He’s 16 years old. He has been cooperative with us,” Flowers said. “We hope he will continue to be cooperative with us. He has not been completely forthcoming.”

Mosqueda was charged with two counts of second-degree murder 12 hours after the shooting, Flowers said. Mosqueda was held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Pierce.

Flowers said Mosqueda’s charges will be upgraded and that he will be charged as an adult. The sheriff identified the victims as Joseph Mitchel Cardella and Logan James Thompson, both 19.

It was the first time Cardella and Thompson – who Flowers described as best friends – had traveled to Indian River County, license plate reader cameras showed. Flowers previously said Mosqueda lured the victims to the area with bad intentions.

Mosqueda and the teenager rode in a sports utility vehicle March 11 to the 7700 block of 105th Court, east of Interstate 95 in Vero Lake Estates. Cardella and Thompson drove to the meeting spot in a Chrysler, Flowers said.

The sound of rapid gunshots could be heard on surveillance footage from a home in Vero Lake Estates. Up to 20 gunshots were blasted from a handgun, killing Cardella and Thompson. Flowers said the two were selling 1,300 THC vape pens for $3,000.

“We have not located the vape pens,” Flowers said during the news conference.

Deputies responded to reports of gunfire. Upon arrival, the deputies found Cardella’s body in a front yard and Thompson’s body in front of the Chrysler.

Both Cardella and Thompson had 14 gunshot wounds total, Flowers said. Deputies found bullet holes in the Chrysler, broken glass and $1,000 in cash scattered along the roadway.

Mosqueda and the teenager drove from the area after the shooting. The teenager told his family what happened, and they brought him to the sheriff’s office for questioning.

The juvenile said that Mosqueda took them to an undisclosed residence, where Mosqueda tossed the handgun in the woods. Mosqueda dropped the teen off and then drove to his home in Fellsmere.

The sheriff’s SWAT team searched Mosqueda’s residence, brought him to the sheriff’s office and arrested him. It was unclear how Mosqueda knew the victims.

Details on any items found in Mosqueda’s SUV were not immediately available.

“We are going to continue to work this case and put a big bow on this for prosecutors so (the suspects) can go away for a long time,” Flowers said.

Photos by Joshua Kodis

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