Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has sentenced James Wesley Buchanan (47, Lake Wales) to 8 years in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised released for possession of child sexual abuse material and destruction of evidence in a federal investigation. The court also ordered Buchanan to register as a sex offender for life and pay restitution to the victims of his offense. Buchanan had pleaded guilty on October 25, 2022.
According to court documents, on December 8, 2021, federal agents executed a search warrant for evidence of child sexual abuse material at Buchanan’s home. At approximately 6:15 a.m., agents announced their presence and requested Buchanan to exit the home. Buchanan failed to exit the home for more than 20 minutes, despite numerous announcements and phone calls by agents. During this time, Buchanan destroyed multiple computer hard drives. When he finally exited the home, Buchanan was sweating profusely and bleeding from his hands. As agents finally entered the home, they discovered the broken and destroyed computer equipment. Agents seized devices that were not damaged beyond repair and forensic analysis subsequently revealed over 800 images and 30 videos of child sexual abuse material.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Tampa Field Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Claire Favorit.
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.