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Date: 04-05-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Tariq Andrew Gillam

Case Number:


Court: The United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office for Grand Rapids

Defendant's Attorney:

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Grand Rapids, Michigan criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Child Pornography Offenses.

Online exploitation of three young boys

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten today announced that Tariq Andrew Gillam, age 34, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 235 months in custody for sexually exploiting children. He will be required to serve 10 years of supervised release after serving his custodial sentence.

U.S. Attorney Totten stated, “Mr. Gillam’s conduct was manipulative, and he preyed on young boys. My office and our law enforcement partners will find predators and hold them accountable. But prevention plays an important role. Candid conversations with our children to help them protect themselves in person and online is a strong first step. Equally important is giving our children a safe place to talk to their parents and other trusted adults and disclose when they have become a victim. Shame and embarrassment can become terrible weapons against victims. They need to know that they are not to blame and they are not alone.”

Between January and February 2018, Gillam used Facebook to pose online as a woman named “Shay Nicole.” He used that persona to chat with numerous individuals, including three minor boys ages 10, 11, and 14. Gillam encouraged the boys to take explicit pictures of themselves and to send the pictures to him.

“There’s no tolerance for individuals who use online platforms as a tool to mentally and emotionally manipulate our youngest members of society,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Investigating crimes against children is one of the FBI’s greatest priorities and our office will continue rid our cities of such offenders.”

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru and investigated by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and the FBI.


Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 235 months in custody. He will be required to serve 10 years of supervised release after serving his custodial sentence.

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