A man suffered life-threatening injuries in an early Saturday shooting in York that the FBI is calling a “targeted act of violence.”

Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston division, would not provide any further details Monday because the investigation remains “active and ongoing.”

Also on Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of two out-of-state men in connection with an attempted robbery in York in May. That crime also was investigated by the FBI, although neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office would comment on whether it was connected to the recent shooting.

In the Saturday incident, the victim’s name and age were not released. Neither was a location of where the shooting occurred.

The FBI did say that it’s working with the York Police Department. Chief Charles Szeniawski did not return a message left Monday.

The FBI normally does not get involved in local investigations, but has the authority to do so depending on the circumstances of a case. Some of those circumstances include: if the crime in question involved conduct in more than one state; if the crime is considered terrorism; if there is suspicion of organized crime, or if the conduct violated a person’s civil rights.


The FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force investigated an incident in York on May 10 that resulted in the arrest of Eric Mercado, 32, of Lowell, Massachusetts, and Steven Hardy, 42, of Maynard, Massachusetts. Both were arrested out of state and were charged with conspiring to commit robbery. A third person, Nathaniel Rivera, 27, of Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, turned himself in to police less than a week after that incident.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court, Mercado, Hardy, Rivera and others traveled from outside Maine to York with the intent of committing an armed home invasion robbery.

The target, identified in court documents only by initials, was “a person known to be involved in the cultivation and/or distribution of marijuana.”

The complaint alleges that Rivera, who knew the victim, and two women went to the house to party. They consumed alcohol and entered a hot tub with the victim. Shortly thereafter, Mercado and Hardy entered wearing masks and carrying guns. The two men ordered the victim into a bathroom, court documents allege, but he tried to flee. Both Mercado and Hardy fired their weapons and one bullet struck the victim in the leg, but he ultimately got away.

Local police responded to a 911 calls and found a handgun in the driveway. The suspects also stole the homeowner’s vehicle, which was found abandoned about one-third of a mile down the road.

A search of the home turned up two shotgun shells and two 9mm handgun shells, as well as broken alcohol bottles and marijuana cultivation equipment.


According to the affidavit, Mercado planned the robbery and Hardy and Rivera assisted. Mercado was identified as a drug dealer who “was dealing with financial problems after losing cocaine worth thousands of dollars.”

One of the women who got into the hot tub with the victim was believed to be Mercado’s wife, documents say.

Text messages from some of the suspects that were reviewed by police and included in the complaint suggest that Mercado and others had been planning the robbery.

Rivera was released on $10,000 bond on May 24, according to court records. His trial date has not been set.

Mercado and Hardy have not yet appeared in court.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: