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Press Release

Hernando Man Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison For Destruction Of Evidence And Accessing With Intent To View Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Thomas Barber has sentenced Basilio Jim Diaz (Hernando, 64) to 14 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for destruction of evidence and accessing with intent to view child sexual abuse material. The court also ordered Diaz to forfeit electronic devices, which were used in the commission of the offense, register as a sex offender, and pay $38,000 in restitution. A federal jury found Diaz guilty on January 10, 2024.  

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 had disabled one of the drones and was in the process of disabling the second drone when SWAT agents 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, and task force officers from the Tampa Police Department and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. It was 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

Updated May 3, 2024

Project Safe Childhood