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Cops use Instagram to bust Buckeye murder suspects

Court records show investigators were able to track down the suspects through an Instagram account.

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — The suspects accused of killing a 19-year-old woman near Buckeye in December were recently charged after investigators were able to track them down through their Instagram account.

Court records show investigators have identified two suspects allegedly responsible for a shooting on Dec. 5, 2022, that wounded a man and killed a young woman.

Alec Soto, 19, and a 17-year-old accomplice both face felony charges for the deadly incident near Baseline and Apache roads. 

Court records show the male victim was planning to sell marijuana and vape pens to the suspect on the night of the shooting. The victim had orchestrated the transaction through Instagram and had been communicating with the suspects through the social media app, records show.

Investigators were able to identify and track down the suspects by obtaining search warrants to inspect the Instagram account and messages.

Just hours before the homicide, one of the suspects allegedly messaged somebody that they were planning to commit a robbery, records show.

"Soto admitted he facilitated the creation of the suspect Instagram account used to lure the victim to the pre-designated area of the marijuana transaction," investigators wrote in a report.

After shooting the victims in their car, the suspects fled the area and drove back to a residence where they allegedly smoked some of the stolen marijuana, records show.

Investigators have begun to file criminal charges against the two suspects. Soto was booked into the Maricopa County jail.

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