83 Victims Linked To Online Child Predator And Fugitive Adrian Fierros
Investigators said Adrian Fierros could be living in Southern California or Mexico. He stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs around 170 pounds. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to InPursuitTips.com or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).
In March 2019, a panicked father contacted the Coral Springs Police department in Florida with a disturbing report. The man said his 11-year-old daughter was a victim of a predator on the internet.
According to Det. Karen Hallman, who has worked on the case from the beginning and who also brought this investigation to In Pursuit with John Walsh, the victim received a friend request on Instagram from the predator. The person behind the account, according to Hallman, was posing as a young girl — but in reality, it was an adult male.
Hallman said she knew right away the suspect was not a minor or a female.
The victim, whom In Pursuit is calling Samantha, said the encounter was innocent at first, until a few days later when the communication took a dark turn. The suspect was trying to take advantage of the child — especially after he asked for a picture of the child in her underwear.
Hallman said, "I don't think she realized that bra and panties photo would segway into something more heinous." This is when the person behind the account, according to Hallman, said if the young child did not comply he would expose her to all of her friends.
"She was afraid to tell her parents that she had already sent that first photo," Hallman added. Samantha tried to escape this person and their demands, and even blocked him, but he re-appeared on another account, authorities said. This was when Samantha knew this was a serious situation, and she needed help. Samantha came forward.
Through IP identification, and hard police work, investigators were able to zone in on a suspect they identified as Adrian Fierros.
The investigation soon uncovered many victims, more than 80, and two included a pair of young sisters. One named "Katie" was only 12 at the time she was victimized, and her sister was 15. The girls’ father called investigators to share a very similar story to Samantha's.
The person behind the screen was threatening both sisters, especially when his demands were not met. The girls thought they were talking to someone their age, but in reality it was a sexual predator they were communicating with. The older sister stepped in to help the younger.
Det. Hallman said the predator was Fierros and he was threatening the family, even naming their parents and telling one of them what school she attended. Fierros eventually convinced one of the sisters to send a photo without clothes on. She sent it, in fear of what would happen to her or her family, and then blocked the account.
According to authorities, the person behind the account, again believed to be Fierros, said, “if you don't send me more photos, I will show the one you sent to all of your friends.” Hallman said the child was being blackmailed.
Callahan Walsh said it's a trend known as "sextortion." Over a three-month short period, authorities said they identified at least 83 victims.
In October 2019, the FBI closed in on Fierros. He pleaded guilty to to charges of production and distribution of child pornography. Instead of keeping Fierros behind bars, he was given supervised release and allowed to have four months to get his "affairs in order."
Fierros was supposed to show up for his sentence and serve 360 months behind bars in October 2020, but instead investigators said he cut his ankle monitor off and went on the run.
Investigators said Adrian Fierros could be living in Southern California or Mexico. He stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs around 170 pounds. He has a scar on the webbing of his right hand.
If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to InPursuitTips.com or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).