Sheriff Grady Judd: Suspect in data breach arrested for child pornography

Sheriff Judd holds press conference on  Brandon James Diaz,.
Sheriff Judd holds press conference on Brandon James Diaz,.(PCSO)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 1:09 PM EST
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POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest of a hacking suspect who was also discovered to be in possession of child pornography.

Brandon James Diaz, 38, of Winter Haven, Fla. was arrested for allegedly hacking into the Polk State College student labs and scheduling database and possession of child pornography.

In June of 2021, a program coordinator and an instructor of the Emergency Medical Services course program at Polk State College began having difficulty signing into their labs and scheduling accounts. During the course of resetting their passwords, they discovered their password recovery hints had been changed to “Sell Out’ or “Ha Ha Ha Loser.”

Detectives identified the suspect as Brandon Diaz, whose employment as a Clinical Coordinator was terminated from the Polk State College EMS program in April of 2021 after his termination from Lakeland Regional Health due to a failed drug screening. He had also been employed as a Polk County firefighter/paramedic for 11 years before his termination in 2015 due to unprofessional conduct.

Between 2015 and 2017 Diaz was employed with Poinciana Medical Center as a nurse.

During an interview with Diaz, he admitted to accessing the PSC database from his personal computer. He told detectives he altered the passwords of the program coordinator and instructor because he blamed them for his termination. He also admitted to altering the administrative rights of the other accounts in the database. Ten accounts in total were tampered with.

During the investigation, detectives did not find any evidence of personal identity information being stolen. While investigating, investigators say they discovered 75 images of child pornography on the suspect’s computer.

Sheriff Judd held a press conference, you can watch that below.

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