By Sharon Aron Baron
Through the work of Coral Springs Police, a 21-year-old man who had amassed over 80 juvenile victims that he extorted for sexually explicit photos and videos, was arrested and sentenced.
On March 5, 2019, an 11-year-old victim from Coral Springs reported that she was befriended online by someone she believed was a 16-year-old female. The two met on the social media platform, Instagram.
This suspect later used extortion techniques to force the victim to produce child pornography. Officer Frank Marinez took the initial report, which included the victim and suspect’s Instagram screen names, and secured the phone for evidence. The victim was advised to block the suspect on Instagram.
As the Coral Springs Police Department worked to obtain a search warrant for Instagram, the victim advised them that the suspect had shared her illicit photographs with six of her friends ages 9-11 via social media.
With the assistance of SRO Officer Janice Bator, the girls who received the pictures were located using their social media screen names.
Through warrants and subpoenas, the suspect was identified as Adrian Fierros, a 21-year-old male living in Sylmar, California.
The search warrant, which covered only three months, revealed that Fierros had amassed 80 juvenile victims ages 10-14 – extorting and threatening them and their families if his demands for illicit photographs and sexually explicit videos were not met.
Detective Jason Carter, serving as a Task Force Officer for the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, went to California and took Fierros into custody.
Based on the overwhelming evidence obtained during the investigation by the Coral Springs Police Department’s SVU Detective Karen Hallman, Fierros admitted to his crimes and they were able to locate and interview many of the other victims who resided in eight different states.
On June 30, Fierros was sentenced in Federal Court and received a 30-year prison sentence, $800 fine, and a $5,000 JVTA (Justice For Victims of Trafficking Act) assessment. Fierros must also comply with the Adam Walsh Act, which mandates that upon his release, he must update his location every three months for the duration of his life as a registered sex offender of the highest tier.
The Coral Springs Police Department reminds residents of the anonymity the internet can provide. Parents should discuss the proper do’s and don’ts of social media with their children, especially if they are engaging in any of the popular social media platforms.
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