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FBI offering reward for mechanic linked to ValuJet Flight 592 crash that killed 110 in 1996

April 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FBI offering reward for mechanic linked to ValuJet Flight 592 crash that killed 110 in 1996

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ValuJet Flight 592 crash: FBI offers $10,000 for info on fugitive in deadly 1996 crash

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The FBI’s Miami Office is attempting to track down an airline mechanic who might have ties to the ValueJet Flight 592 plane crash that resulted in the deaths of 110 people back in 1996.

The FBI’s Miami Field Office has offered a $10,000 reward in a “Wanted” poster asking for information about a man who has been identified as Mauro Ociel Valenzuela-Reyes.

The mechanic has been charged for his links to the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 after he reportedly mishandled and packaged oxygen generators in the plane’s cargo area, according to the Miami Herald.

The generators didn’t contain safety caps and caught on fire in the cargo area, CBS News reported.

At the time, Valenzuela-Reyes was employed by the now-defunct SabreTech, the airline’s maintenance company.

However he never faced charges and evaded apprehension, FBI Miami Special Agent Jacqueline Fruge indicated in a press release.

“We’ve tried over the years to find him,” Fruge stated. “It bothers me. I’ve lived and breathed it for many years.”

In May 1996, Flight 592 departed from Miami International Airport. Shortly after, the pilot reported that there was a fire in the cargo space, and the aircraft crashed into the Everglades, just west of Miami.

Miami Herald archive story from 1996 reported that the plane “slammed nose-first into the muck and disappeared.”

An FBI “Wanted” poster that was published this week includes a picture of Valenzuela-Reyes in 1996, along with progressive aging sketches of how he may look today.

The reward is being offered for information leading to his whereabouts.

He is facing additional federal charges for fleeing and neglecting to appear at his trial.

The FBI reported that Valenzuela-Reyes has ties in Atlanta, where his ex-wife and kids have resided, and Santiago, Chile, where he has family members living.

Law enforcement officials allege that he might be living under a false name.

Fruge has been the principal agent on the case since it was launched and has worked with the families of the victims over the years. She maintains that they “want closure.”

Two other SabreTech staffers were also charged in the criminal case but ended up being acquitted.

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