Crime & Justice

12 from the Inland Empire charged with an assortment of crimes against children

21-year old Darian Tillman of Corona is accused of using an online alias to meet minors and direct them to take sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves.
21-year old Darian Tillman of Corona is accused of using an online alias to meet minors and direct them to take sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves.
ICE Los Angeles

Twelve people face federal charges for a variety of crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The charges are the result of a coordinated federal effort called "Operation Predator," which involved U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office provided support for several of the cases.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Sheth said one of the suspects in this crackdown include 21-year old Darian Tillman of Corona.

"Defendant Tillman was impersonating somebody else and meeting minors — generally males, as far as we know — online using various messenger apps and direct them to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves as well as videos and send them to him," Sheth said. "If they ever refused to do that, the defendant would then threaten the victims with potential exposure of those photographs to family members.

"It's the type of case that involves a very significant amount of manipulation."

According to the news release, others charged include:

Sheth said investigations into the 12 cases are ongoing. Because there may be more unidentified juvenile victims, anyone with information relevant to the cases is asked to contact law enforcement officials.