DENVER – One of the teenagers formally charged in connection with a deadly shooting at a Denver light rail station earlier this month was under the watch of U.S. Enforcement and Immigration officials, Denver7 has learned.
Ever Valles, 19, a citizen of Mexico, was put on an ICE detainer following an arrest for vehicle theft back in October of 2016, according to an ICE official who spoke with Denver7 Friday evening.
ICE will use a detainer to identify people in jail or prison who could be deported. The sole purpose is so law enforcement will notify ICE that a suspect is being released so they can be taken into ICE Custody.
Valles was booked into the Denver jail for aggravated auto theft and vehicular alluding in October and was released on Dec. 20, 2016 after posting a $5,000 bond.
During his release, the Denver Sheriff Department sent ICE officials a notification that he was being released from jail.
Documents obtained by Denver7 show the department released Valles at 11:30 that night, but the ICE official told Denver7 they received the fax at 12:37 a.m. on Dec. 21, 2016 – an hour and four minutes after he was released back onto the streets.
Shawn Neudauer, an ICE spokesperson, told Denver7 in a statement that the detainer “was not honored” and that Valles was released without notification to ICE.
“Valles is a known gang member whose gang history is documented in the Colorado gang database. Due to his criminal history and gang affiliation Valles is an ICE immigration enforcement priority,” Neudauer said.
But a Denver Sheriff Department official told Denver7 ICE was notified of Valles' release prior to him getting out of jail.
"Denver has never and will never advocate for felons to remain on our streets -- immigrants or not," a spokesperson for the department said in a prepared statement.
Shooting at RTD station
Less than two months following his release, Valles and another teen, Nathan Valdez, reportedly robbed Tim Cruz, 32, before killing him at the Sheridan Station on Feb. 7.
The two were arrested after surveillance video of the two was released, and an unidentified person tipped police off to who the men were.
Valles was arrested Feb. 8 on a parole violation and Valdez was captured Feb. 10.
Valles faces charges of murder in the first degree-robbery, murder in the first degree-kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping with a gun and four counts of aggravated robbery with a gun.
Valdez is charged with first-degree murder, murder in the first-degree-robbery, murder in the first degree-kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping-gun and two counts of aggravated robbery with a gun.
The two are scheduled to appear in court for their first advisement Feb. 21.