A suspect in the stabbing death of a man at a light rail station in Denver was in custody in Denver and released just weeks before the murder despite a detainer request from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) service for his deportation. Now in jail and to face a court on February 20 is Ever Valles. Also held in the murder of Tim Cruz, 32, is Nathan Valdez. They were formally charged on February 17 in the murder and are also accused of attempted robbery.
Back in October 2016, ICE had sought a detainer on Valles after police in Denver had arrested him on charges relating to car theft and other crimes. ICE wanted to be informed of his pending release because it suspected that he was an illegal alien. ICE released a statement saying that the Mexican nation, Andres Valles, 19, was found by the agency through the Criminal Alien Program following his arrest on local charges in October 2016.
Denver police did not honor the detainer request placed with the Denver County Jail. Valles was released on December 20 despite the fact that he was a known member of a criminal gang with a history already documented in the Colorado gang database. Because of his criminal past and affiliation with a criminal organization, ICE made him a priority for deportation.
A statement from the Denver Sheriff Department disavowed any culpability and claimed that ICE was informed before his release when he posted a $5000 bond. "In the case of Ever Valles, ICE was notified by fax that Mr. Valles was being released prior to his release," the statement said. "Denver has never and will never advocate for felons to remain on our streets -- immigrants or not." The statement went on to say "We are part of the criminal justice system and do not hold people on civil matters."
According to a local Fox News station, the sheriff’s department statement about Valles is misleading and that the ICE detainer has no expiration date. The report said that ICE was given a 25-minute window before Valles’ release, not enough time for ICE officers to scramble to the jail and arrest him. Both Valles and Valdez will be in court on February 20.