Man accused of attempted capital murder set for arraignment

A man accused of participating in what prosecutors described as a “drive by shooting” during an attempt to abduct smuggled persons is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday morning on a charge of attempted capital murder.

Jose Mario Cardeñas, 29, is accused with six others on that charge and several others related to a May 31 shooting that left two men with gunshot wounds.

At the time of the shooting, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the victims, Jesus Guadalupe Mares and David Davila, were sitting in a truck near the corner of Maya Drive and Minnesota Road in the Lopezville area when someone approached and began shooting at them.

The pair tried to flee and were pursued by two vehicles before they crashed near Canton and Raul Longoria roads in Edinburg, according to the sheriff’s statement.

Authorities immediately suspected the shooting was part of a larger criminal enterprise potentially involving human smuggling.

The Aug. 22 indictment against the group states they were “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.”

The remaining defendants include Jose Reducindo Anaya III, 22, Francisco Gilberto Garcia Mayo, 25, Yamil Garza Villarreal, 32, Jose Javier Solis, 37, Victor Ramirez, 24, and Jesus Martinez, 29.

All of the defendants except Cardeñas, Anaya, Mayo and Villarreal have entered not guilty pleas.

Anaya, Mayo and Villarreal are scheduled for arraignment in November.

mreagan@themonitor.com