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Press Release

Alien Smuggling Coordinator Who Recruited on Snapchat Sentenced to 71 Months in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Nathanael Alley Rivera, 23, of Eloy, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps to 71 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Rivera pleaded guilty on September 6, 2023, to Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens for Profit for his supervisory role in a criminal conspiracy to transport hundreds of undocumented noncitizens for financial gain.

From May 2021 through November 2022, Rivera recruited drivers and mid-level coordinators for alien smuggling transportation by posting solicitations on Snapchat. The Snapchat posts often included photos of large sums of money, firearms, and requests for drivers to move undocumented noncitizens from locations near the United States/Mexico border further into the United States. While committing these crimes, Rivera used Snapchat to communicate directly with his mid-level coordinators who would then communicate with the transport drivers. The conspiracy involved the transportation of hundreds of undocumented noncitizens, and Rivera bragged to other co-conspirators about transporting people in overcrowded vehicles and in generally unsafe conditions. He also used minors to facilitate certain smuggling events.

During the first months of the conspiracy, Rivera was on probation for a previous alien smuggling conviction.

Homeland Security Investigations - Douglas office conducted the investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-22-02699-TUC-JGZ-JR

RELEASE NUMBER:    2024-005_Rivera

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Public Affairs
Zach J. Stoebe
Telephone: (602) 514-7413

Updated January 22, 2024

Human Smuggling
Press Release Number: 2024-005_Rivera