Gang members go to trial on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity

Two men will face charges of engaging in organized criminal activity in a trial scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Robert Lindstrom, also known as "Stutter" and Robert Saldana, aka "Wedo," both of Victoria, are charged with conspiring to cause serious bodily harm to Paul Benavides, aka "Pow Wow," by shooting him, according to the defendants' October 2010 indictments.

Their indictments contend that in September 2006, the defendants, who are members of the Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos street gang, requested authority to proceed with the murder of Paul Benavides from the ruling leader of the HPL; relayed communication of the ruling leader authorizing Benavides' murder; coordinated a meeting of HPL members to plan Benavides' murder; approved the murder; and coordinated the cover-up and destruction of evidence.

Lindstrom, 25, and Saldana, 27, were originally scheduled to go to trial in October, but the attorneys ran out of potential jurors to choose from.

The trial was rescheduled till now.

Saldana will be represented by court-appointed defense attorney Bill White, while Lindstrom will be represented by court-appointed attorney Alex Luna.

The Victoria County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case.

The trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Judge Robert Cheshire's courtroom.