EDINBURG — A shooting victim remains unidentified after Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies arrested one suspect on murder charges and Mexican police took the other suspect into custody.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Andres Guadalupe Lozano on Tuesday — a day after he allegedly shot and killed a man who arrived at a house north of Weslaco to collect drug money.
Lozano’s alleged accomplice, Francisco Hernandez Zamora, remains in Mexican police custody in Nuevo Progreso after he was found with a pistol at a bus station, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said.
The sheriff said a woman called both men to her house at 707 Palos Altos St., near the intersection of Mile 13 North and Farm-to-Market Road 88, about 3 p.m. Monday. The woman said three men had shown up and demanded money from a drug load lost by her husband, Francisco Gonzalez, who had been arrested by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
After Lozano and Hernandez arrived at the house, an argument ensued and Lozano allegedly fired at least one shot that struck the unidentified man, court documents state.
The two others who were with the unidentified man fled the scene.
Lozano was arrested Tuesday. Hernandez was arrested the following day in Nuevo Progreso.
Lozano was formally charged with murder Thursday morning during an arraignment hearing at the Hidalgo County Jail. Bond was set at $1 million.
Sheriff’s deputies may arrest and charge Gonzalez’s wife with filing a false report — or even murder — after she allegedly lied to deputies who responded to the scene of the shooting, Treviño said.
“I think she is just as culpable,” the sheriff said. “This guy would not have been dead had she not called her protectors to help (fight) the debt collectors.”
Investigators still have not identified the shooting victim. He has a tattoo on his back that reads “Freddy” and a tattoo of a woman on his right calf that reads “Esperanza” next to the words “Hecho en Mexico” (Made in Mexico).
Hernandez remains in Mexican police custody in Nuevo Progreso, the sheriff said.
Deputies are working with FBI agents who went to Nuevo Progreso on Thursday to interview Hernandez, whose extradition to the U.S. will depend upon whether Mexican authorities pursue criminal charges of firearm possession.
Meanwhile, Lozano — an undocumented Mexican national — could spend up to life in prison and face a $10,000 fine if convicted of murder.
Monday’s homicide is the fourth investigated by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office this year — three of which have involved drug trafficking.