Mark Reagan

Mark Reagan is a reporter for The Monitor. He can be reached at or at (956) 683-4437.

Man receives 14-year sentence for La Plaza Mall robbery

A Mexico City man who says he was coerced into participating in the La Plaza Mall robbery last summer was sentenced Thursday morning to 14 years in prison. Raul Alberto Rangel, 44, is one of seven defendants in the case. During sentencing, the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office recommended a sentence for the man, who is in the country illegally, of 20 years in prison because he is one of the defendants who smashed a glass case in the Deutsch & Deutsch jewelry store that mall-goers mistook for gunshots after the men stormed the establishment to commit the robbery. Read the full story at

Mission resident arrested for barratry

The Texas Rangers on Tuesday arrested a paralegal who works for a Harlingen-based law firm which specializes in personal injury litigation stemming from auto accidents on a charge of barratry. Authorities linked 49-year-old Mission resident Juan Salvador Tovar by learning he drove a red Mercedes to Alejandro Deluna Jr.'s mother's house on Sept. 5 to try to provide legal services to Deluna, who had not contacted Tovar to seek those services, according to a probable cause affidavit for the man's arrest. Tovar works for the The Law Office of Robert Davis Jr., P.L.L.C., which is based in Harlingen, according to the probable cause affidavit. Read the full story at

Fatal hit-and-run driver sentenced for motorcyclist’s death

Adrian Segovia wants the man responsible for hitting and killing his brother to remember one thing as he heads to prison for 14 years. “I just want you to remember his name,” Adrian said. “Pedro Segovia.” During a tearful hearing Tuesday morning, members of Pedro’s family addressed 67-year-old Edinburg resident Francisco Vanegas, who held his head down as he listened to several family members after learning his sentence. Vanegas, who was shackled as he stood in front of state District Judge Fernando Mancias, entered a guilty plea to accident involving death on July 10, a week shy of the third anniversary of Pedro’s death. Read the full story at

Possible new evidence surfaces in La Plaza Mall robbery case

Last week, the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office provided notice to each defendant in the La Plaza Mall robbery case of evidence that is material to guilt or punishment. That disclosure includes five people already sentenced in the case. Public information on the nature of that evidence is scant so far, but a motion for a sentencing reconsideration made by 27-year-old Miguel Quintanilla Cardenas points in the direction of claims of committing the act under “duress.” Read the full story on

Donna man sentenced for drunk driving listens to victim impact statements

After being sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing two people during a drunk driving accident, a 22-year-old Donna man faced family members from three shattered families Monday morning. As they stood just feet away from a shackled Scottie Ochoa, their emotions ranged from anger to sadness to forgiveness. Ochoa admitted to drinking and driving on Nov. 17, 2018, when he drove at an unsafe speed in the 4000 block of North 2nd Street and struck a curb, causing the vehicle to strike a wooden light poll and then causing it to roll over and spin, striking a stop sign and a bicycle sign, according to a Texas Department of Transportation crash report. Read the full story at

Edinburg, Pharr men arraigned on Medicaid fraud charges

Two men accused of defrauding Texas Medicaid nearly a decade ago entered not guilty pleas to charges of fraud Monday morning. Edinburg resident Osama Bachir Nahas, 64, faces four charges of Medicaid fraud while Pharr resident Gerardo Javier Jackson, 51, is charged with a single count. The Texas Attorney General’s office alleges the pair defrauded Texas Medicaid from Jan. 1, 2011, to Jan. 31, 2012. An indictment issued against the men on Aug. 22 alleges that they conspired to defraud Texas Medicaid by obtaining unauthorized payments from the program. Read the full story at

Elsa capital murder suspect gets lower bond, new charge

An Elsa man accused of shooting and killing someone while trying to steal drugs last November is now facing an obstruction charge. Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Lauren Sepulveda revealed during a bond reduction hearing for 18-year-old Jose Angel Becerra that as defense attorneys for the man sought a lower bond, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office was working on a warrant for the man for the obstruction charge. Read the full story at

Man gets 9 years in La Plaza Mall robbery case

Five of the seven La Plaza Mall robbery defendants have been sentenced to state prison. On Thursday morning, state District Judge Israel Ramon Jr. sentenced 33-year-old Alberto Rafael Barrera to nine years in prison, court records show. The group of men caused panic in McAllen in July of 2018 when they rushed into the Deutsch & Deutsch jewelry store and smashed glass cases with “mini sledge hammers” as they tried to make off with designer watches worth millions. Read the full story at

Suspect in shooting has lengthy criminal record

EDINBURG — A 37-year-old man with a criminal history that spans two decades in Hidalgo County will face a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted in a shooting case related to a failed plot to abduct undocumented immigrants. On Thursday morning, Jesus Javier Solis pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, deadly conduct and engaging in organized criminal activity. Solis is charged with six others in the case following a May 31 shooting that left a man with non-life threatening injuries to his right arm and the left side of his face. Read more at the

Toddler killed in drunk driving accident wasn’t restrained

A 22-year-old Rio Grande City man accused of driving while intoxicated ran a red light before t-boning an SUV on Aug. 25, killing two people, including a toddler. The McAllen Police Department arrested David Garcia Jr. after the accident that happened around 2:44 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of North 10th Street. Read more on the