FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 13, 1999
Contact: Jeff Nelligan
Telephone: (202) 366-6312
Mechanic in SabreTech Case
Indicted for Contempt of Court
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General has announced the return of a federal indictment charging Mauro Valenzuela with contempt of court for failing to comply with his conditions of pretrial release.
Valenzuela is presently a fugitive and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. As alleged in the indictment, Valenzuela failed to report to pretrial services as directed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Miami and moreover, stole an automobile in violation of Georgia state law, all in violation of his conditions of pretrial release. The United States Pretrial Services Office reports that the defendants present whereabouts are unknown, and he appears to have absconded from supervision.
In July 1999, Valenzuela was charged with SabreTech, Inc. and two other individuals for conspiracy to make false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), false statements in aviation maintenance records, and various violations of federal regulations regarding the transportation of hazardous materials. Valenzuela had been charged with falsifying work cards, indicating that shipping caps had been installed on unexpended oxygen generators when in fact, shipping caps had not been installed on the oxygen generators. As alleged in that indictment, SabreTech, Inc. delivered unexpended, uncapped, ignitable oxygen generators to Valujet Flight 592, which crashed on May 11, 1996, killing all 100 persons on board. The trial is scheduled to commence November 15, 1999.
Anybody with information on the whereabouts of Valenzuela should contact Special Agent Jacqueline Fruge at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Miami (305-944-9101).