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Press Release

Registered Sex Offender Sentenced for Distribution of Child Pornography after Viewing Pornographic Images in Public

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI - A 65-year-old Corpus Christi sex offender has received a lengthy federal prison sentence following his conviction for distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Manuel Diaz pleaded guilty Jan. 31, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Neva Gonzales Ramos sentenced Diaz to 180 months in federal prison. The sentence will be immediately followed by 1o years of supervised release during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Diaz will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

Following the imposition of the lengthy term, the defense called it “essentially a death sentence.”

Diaz has been a sex offender since 1984, when he was convicted for sexually assaulting a child out of Harris County.

On July 3, 2017, several employees at a local drug store noticed Diaz as he scrolled through photos on a kiosk in the photo lab area - in plain view of employees and customers. People noticed what they believed to be images of child pornography among what they described as “a lot” which were stored on Diaz’ phone and hooked into the kiosk by a data cable. Employees contacted local law enforcement who placed Diaz under arrest. Diaz subsequently confessed to possessing the images.

In total, Diaz was in possession of more than 100 images of child pornography and 65 videos containing child pornography. A forensic evaluation of his phone led investigators to several messages on a popular social media app in which Diaz had sent the images to other users, including people Diaz believed were underage females. 

Diaz has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Corpus Christi Police Department’s – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brittany L. Jensen and Hugo R. Martinez prosecuted the case, which was 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Updated April 30, 2019

Topic
Project Safe Childhood