Luis Alfredo Cortez Mendoza, a 23-year-old member of the Sureños 13 gang suspected of being in the country illegally, was charged Monday in Washington County District Court with attempted murder and kidnapping.
His victim, a woman, was found in a pool of blood at 2:30 in the morning on June 9 in Stillwater. An Uber driver, who first thought the woman was “a dead animal in the street,” found her and led officers to the scene.
Angel Ignacio Sardina-Padilla was arrested on Tuesday and charged with aiding and abetting attempted murder and kidnapping. According to the criminal complaint, Sardina-Padilla was “in charge” and Cortez Mendoza would reportedly “do anything Padilla asked him to.”
Nicole Alberico, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told The Star Tribune that Cortez Mendoza is suspected of being in the country illegally. He has been deported to his native Mexico four times, Alberico added.
Alberico wasn’t able to offer any information on Sardina-Padilla’s immigration status, telling The Star Tribune that “to determine their immigration status, ICE officers must first interview the individual who still has outstanding warrants for this state investigation.”
The woman was transported to Regions Hospital in critical condition but has since recovered enough to provide a statement to police.
The criminal complaint, according to KSTP, states the following:
A female friend had introduced the woman to Angel Ignacio Sardina-Padilla, 32, also known as “Diablo.” The woman stated in the complaint that Padilla was a member of the Surenos 13 gang and a meth dealer.
On June 8, the woman purchased a firearm for $400 from Padilla. Padilla and Mendoza, who is also mentioned as an alleged member of the gang, delivered the gun to her residence in St. Paul. The woman allegedly paid Padilla $300 of the $400 she owed him and told him to “come back for the rest later.”
Later that night, the woman’s roommate and another man were in the residence. The woman stated she had placed the gun in her nightstand, but when she awoke it was missing. The morning of June 8, the woman sent a text to Padilla explaining the gun was missing.
According to the complaint, Padilla and Mendoza showed up later that morning to the woman’s address armed with guns and demanded the money she owed or she find the gun and return it to them. One of the woman’s roommates and three other people were also at the apartment at the time.
The complaint states Padilla and Mendoza “walked around the apartment brandishing their firearms while angrily demanding their money.”
The complaint goes on to reveal that the two men drove the woman around all afternoon against her will, waiting for nightfall when they planned to kill her. At one point in the evening, Cortez Mendoza dropped off Sardina-Padilla, which is when the woman said she knew she was going to be killed.
Cortez Mendoza’s bail has been set at $2 million and his charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
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