One of the suspects accused of killing a man at a Denver light rail station was in custody in Denver and wanted for possible deportation by federal authorities when he was released from jail weeks before the murder.
Ever Valles is currently in jail in Denver along with another man for the killing of Tim Cruz, 32, on February 7. He and Nathan Valdez were formally charged Friday for murder. The two also are accused of trying to rob Cruz.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed a detainer on Valles after Denver police arrested him in October 2016 for car theft and other charges. That means ICE wanted to be notified of any pending release because he was suspected of being in the United States illegally.
“Ever Andres Valles, 19, a citizen of Mexico, was encountered by ICE via the Criminal Alien Program following his arrest on local charges in October 2016," ICE told FOX31 in a statement Friday night.
"At the time of his arrest, ICE placed a detainer with the Denver County Jail. The detainer wasn’t honored, and he was released by the jail Dec. 20, 2016, 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."
A Denver Sheriff Department spokesman responded Friday night, saying ICE was told about Valles' release before it happened. He was released once he posted $5,000 bond.
"In the case of Ever Valles, ICE was notified by fax that Mr. Valles was being released prior to his release," the spokesman said in a statement. "Denver has never and will never advocate for felons to remain on our streets -- immigrants or not." You can see the fax and time and date of transmission to ICE here.
"We are part of the criminal justice system and do not hold people on civil matters," the Sheriff Department spokesman said.