McALLEN — Seven Mexican nationals were arraigned Monday on aggravated robbery charges after attempting to rob a jewelry store in La Plaza mall early Saturday afternoon, causing widespread panic in the process after the sound of breaking glass led to false reports of an active shooter.
In addition to the first-degree felony aggravated robbery charge, five of the men were charged with failure to identify, a Class B misdemeanor, stemming from them either providing false names to arresting officers or refusing to do so.
It took McAllen police several hours Monday to confirm the identities of the men, which delayed the arraignment by several hours.
Zepeda Abner Posos, 24; Alberto Rafael Barrera, 32; Brayan Oliver Melchor, 23; Javier Leobardo Olvera-Ramirez, 22; Jorge Angel Rodriguez Mejia, 28; Miguel Quintanilla-Cardenas, 26; and Raul Alberto Rangel-Rivera, 43, were arraigned on the first-degree felony, according to McAllen Municipal Court documents, which carries up to a life sentence if convicted. All but Barrera and Rangel-Rivera were also charged with the Class B misdemeanor, which carries up to 180 days in jail.
McAllen Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Henley set their bonds between $200,000 and $210,000.
The court did not release the probable cause affidavits tied to their arrests as of press time.
The immigration status of the seven men has yet to be determined, according to spokesman Lt. Joel Morales, who noted the department is working to confirm it. Many of the men chose to speak with a representative from McAllen’s Mexican Consulate after the arraignment.
McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez was unavailable for comment Monday as to the status of the investigation, which a police department news release said was ongoing.