TAMPA, FL – U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizell has sentenced James Wesley Buchanan, 47, Lake Wales, to eight years in federal prison for possession of child sexual abuse material. He was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release for destroying evidence. Federal investigation. The court also ordered Buchanan to be registered as a lifelong sex offender and to pay compensation to victims of his crimes, which he pleaded guilty to on October 25, 2022.
On December 8, 2021, federal agents executed a search warrant seeking evidence of child sexual abuse material at a Buchanan home, according to court documents. At approximately 6:15 a.m., investigators announced their presence and demanded that Buchanan leave the house. Buchanan was unable to leave the house for more than 20 minutes despite numerous announcements and phone calls by agents, during which time Buchanan destroyed several computer hard drives. When he finally left the house, Buchanan was sweating profusely and his hands were bleeding. When the agents finally entered the house, they found broken and destroyed computer equipment. Agents seized the device, which was not damaged beyond repair, and forensic analysis revealed over 800 images of him and 30 videos of him relating to child sexual abuse.
The case was investigated by the Tampa Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was indicted by U.S. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Claire Favorite.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood, led by the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Federal Attorney’s Office and Criminal Service, marshals federal, state, and local resources to identify, arrest, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, Identify and rescue victims. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.