BENTON – In a U.S. District Court on Wednesday, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict for a man from Bush, Illinois, accused of traveling to entice a minor into sexual activity.
Aimen Garro, 38, was convicted of traveling to entice a minor after conversing online and attempting to meet with an alleged 15–year–old girl, during an operation conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in August 2020.
“Individuals who lurk online and try to entice children have a special place in society, and it’s called federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “I appreciate the work of the FBI, the Illinois State Police, the Herrin Police Department, and the Marion Police Department to prevent Garro from grooming any other minors online.”
“Every time the FBI’s proactive effort investigating child predators puts another offender behind bars, we prevent an unknown number of children from being lured into a dangerous trap,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Acting Special Agent in Charge Shannon Fontenot. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will always work tirelessly to ensure the safety of children.”
According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, Garro responded to an online dating application and began sending messages to an undercover FBI agent in July 2020. Garro believed he was speaking with a 15–year–old girl, asked for nude photographs and used sexually–explicit language to plan meeting arrangements for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity.
On Aug. 28, 2020, Garro traveled to Marion from De Soto, Illinois, where he lived at the time, to meet with the girl but was taken into custody upon arrival.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 3, 2023.
FBI–Springfield led the investigation with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Illinois State Police, the Herrin Police Department, and the Marion Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Casey Bloodworth and David Sanders are prosecuting the case.