Major bust: Telegram app found on woman's phone by ICE reveals over 1,000 smugglers

EL PASO, TX -  Two women were arrested near Naco, AZ on the Mexican border in a car that was carrying illegal immigrants. Investigators found that one of the women was carrying a cell phone which was logged into an online chat used by up to 1,000 smugglers.

US Customs and Border Protection Agents placed Desiree Aguirre and Veronica Aguirre under arrest on May 25th while they were transporting three illegal immigrants on State Road 92.

Border Report stated in an article published Wednesday that Border Patrol agents tracked the pair of women via surveillance cameras before it reached SR 92 and notified agents in the field who intercepted their vehicle according to court records.

The outlet revealed that the three passengers smuggled by the Aguirres were illegal immigrants and Mexican nationals. Interviews with them established that Desiree let them into the vehicle and that the Tuscon resident had in her possession a cellphone that held the GPS coordinates to pick up the illegal immigrants.

Ali Bradley of NewsNation reported a similar scenario in February 2023 in a post to X writing, "'No check points…' '$1k a head…' 'Easy pickups…' U.S. citizens being roped into human smuggling through social media. They then take the convo to an encrypted app like WhatsApp or Telegram so it can’t be traced. Smugglers are directed to delete apps/convos if they’re stopped."
A detailed search of the device showed that the private messaging app Telegram was installed with an active group chat containing over 1,000 contacts "with information for picking up loads of illegal aliens in the Arizona area," citing the legal complaint.

Each pickup was listed as a "job" with the illegal immigrants referred to as "loads" the complaint alleged.

The two Aguirres the driver and passenger are both facing two counts of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens along with aiding and abetting. Authorities stated that the investigation is now ongoing.
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