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December 4, 2020Laredo, TX, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Human smuggling conviction following ICE investigation into deadly crash

Laredo man fled from law enforcement to avoid arrest

LAREDO, Texas – A Laredo man was convicted Dec. 1 for conspiring to transport an illegal alien resulting in death.

This case is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Harlingen Office with the assistance of Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

This week, David Valadez, 27, from Laredo is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge to be formally charged for conspiring to transport an illegal alien resulting in death.

According to court documents, the criminal complaint originally filed in the case alleges that on Nov. 5, law enforcement attempted to stop a Chevrolet Malibu for a traffic violation. Valadez was allegedly driving. Instead of complying, he fled at a high rate of speed, according to the charges. Authorities pursued him until he allegedly crashed the vehicle through a fence of a local business. Valadez attempted to abscond on foot but was quickly apprehended. The indictment further alleges authorities conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered three people who were all determined to be aliens illegally present in the United States. One allegedly died as a result of injuries sustained during the crash.

Valadez is charged with conspiracy to transport an undocumented alien causing death and three counts of transporting an undocumented alien causing death.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney April Ayers-Perez of the Southern District of Texas is prosecuting the case.