A Tijuanan based U.S Citizen, Neil Edwin Valera has been charged in a federal court in Southern California for his alleged role in the deaths of three Chinesemigrants, whose bodies were found in the trunk of Valera’s car after crossing into the United States from the San Ysidro Port of entry in Mexico.
Law enforcement believe Valera, (50) was trying to smuggle the three persons into America in his car, a venture which ended rather tragically resulting in their deaths because he left them unattended in his BMW for 2 days.
Police have identified the bodies as belonging to 3 people of Asian descent - two being that of a 15-year old boy and his mother, days after Valero crossed into the United States.
Reports indicate that the bodies were found after San Diego Police received a complaint at 4:54 PM about a bad smell and blood dripping from a 1999 silver BMW registered with Texas license plates parked around the 2100 block of Jaime Avenue on 11th August.
Police say they retrieved videoevidence which placed Valera and his vehicle at the San Ysidro port at 3:14 PM on August 9th. He is reported to have entered into the U.S using his Sentri Card as ID. A witness from the U.S Attorney’s Office testified that from the 9th of August till the bodies were discovered on the 11th, no one was sighted coming or going from the parked spot of Valera’s car.
Video recordings show the same car crossing into the United States from Mexico on August 9, 2019, at the San Ysidro port of entry at 3:14 p.m.
Commenting on the unfortunate event, U.S Attorney Robert Brewercautioned:
These tragic cases are grim reminders that attempting to cross into the United States illegally in the trunk of a car - and putting your faith, hope and future in the hands of smugglers - is extremely dangerous.
He added that the office is dedicated to prosecuting all who smuggle people into the United States for “financial gain” and by doing so place vulnerable people in grave danger and recklessly cause deaths.
Based off an investigation facilitated by the collaborative work of federal and local law enforcement in a bid to reduce violent crimes in the Southern District of California, the case was caught and is being handled by the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking Section (VCHT), an initiative brought to life by U.S Attorney Robert Brewer as a team focused on the investigation and prosecution of violent cases, including gang related crime, sex trafficking and child exploitation, civil rights and many others.
Neil Valera has since pleaded not guilty to the charges of Encouraging Aliens to Enter Resulting in Death which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison/death and a $250,000 USD fine as well as Bringing in Aliens without Presentation for Financial Gain, which could get him a mandatory maximum of 15 years in prison. He currently has a bond hearing slated for October 5th.