Miami Dade Firefighter Faces Child Porn Charges

A Miami Dade firefighter who has been under investigation since last December has been charged with sharing child pornography via Twitter.

Gabriel Diaz, 38, a seventeen year veteran assigned to Public Education Unit, was arrested Thursday and remains in custody (as of last Friday) on $160,000 bail. He had been reassigned to desk duty but now is on paid administrative leave.

According to news reports Diaz shared at least 16 pornographic images of underage girls via Twitter. Using sophisticated software developed by Microsoft, Twitter flagged the images and forwarded them on to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who initiated the investigation.

Diaz insists that he was lawfully sharing adult content, and at his arraignment his attorney, Gus Lage, referred to him as a “wonderful family man.”

Judge Diana Gonzalez-Whyte told Lage and Diaz “Some of these children appear to be under the age of even 12 years old and there’s significant detail as to what was going on in these.”

In his capacity with the Public Education Unit for MDFR, Diaz gave presentations to school children. According to investigators Diaz did most of his sharing while at work, using department computers.

The software that Twitter used to identify the child porn images is called PhotoDNA. Investigators then poured through thousands of photos Diaz shared, finding 16 that they we certain contained under-aged children.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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