MIDLAND, Texas - A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a 33-year-old local man to 10 years in federal prison for enticing a minor. The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Tomas Daniel Diaz, a Midland, Texas, resident, was sentenced Dec. 2 by U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell. The judge also ordered Diaz to be placed under supervised release for 35 years after he completes his prison term. Diaz pleaded guilty to using the Internet and cellular telephone to coerce and entice a child to engage in indecent behavior.
By pleading guilty, Diaz admitted to communicating with the minor using the social networking website, MySpace.com, as well as by email and cellular telephone. Those communications also included transmitting sexually explicit images of the minor. Diaz further admitted he led his victim to believe he was interested in a sexual relationship even though he knew her to be a minor.
According to court documents, Diaz was arrested March 5 in Ranger, Texas, after he tried to make contact with a 16-year-old girl he claimed was his niece. Ranger Police Department assisted ICE HSI with the investigation.
"HSI continues to pursue child predators unrelentingly, as well as work closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office, and our state and local partners, so that violators are punished to the fullest extent of the law," said Manuel Oyola-Torres, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in El Paso.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, an ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators by calling at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.