Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Basilio Jim Diaz (64, Hernando County) guilty of destruction of evidence and accessing with the intent to view child sexual abuse material. Diaz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each offense. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 17, 2024. Diaz has also agreed to forfeit his electronic devices which were used in the commission of the offense.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on March 9, 2023, the FBI executed a search warrant at Diaz’s home seeking evidence of child exploitation. When the FBI announced their presence, Diaz refused to exit his home. FBI SWAT members used an armored vehicle to break through the front door and obtain a visual inside the home. The SWAT agents also deployed two drones to better assess the situation inside the home. After nearly an hour, Diaz disabled one of the drones and while holding the second drone, the SWAT agents safely entered the home and detained Diaz. A search of the home revealed that Diaz had spent those 45 - 50 minutes destroying evidence. Despite Diaz’s efforts, the FBI used forensic tools to recover thousands of images and videos depicting the child sexual abuse and exploitation of children from Diaz’s laptop. Agents also recovered two child-like sex dolls.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, and Task Force Officers from the Tampa Police Department and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ilyssa M. Spergel and Ross D. Roberts.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.