INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 29-year-old man who pleaded guilty to terrorizing underage girls in central Indiana was sentenced Friday to 75 years in prison.
Buster “Brian Kil” Hernandez initially faced with 40 federal charges. The Bakersfield, California, man could have been sentenced to life in prison. In addition to the sentence, Hernandez must also serve a lifetime of supervised release after his imprisonment.
Hernandez was initially charged in August 2017 with eight counts of production of child pornography; three counts of coercion and enticement of a minor; five counts of distributing and receiving child pornography; four counts of threats to use explosive devices; a count of threats and extortion; 10 counts of threats to kill, kidnap and injure: six counts of witness tampering; a count of obstruction of justice; and two counts of retaliating against a witness or victim.
Officials said Friday they had identified more than 375 victims. Hernandez apologized to his victims before sentencing Friday by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, The Associated Press reported.
Hernandez posted a series of violent threats online directed at Plainfield High School in December 2015. Hernandez went by the online alias “Brian Kil.”
On Dec. 17, 2015, the Brownsburg Police Department contact the FBI, asking for assistance into the investigation of “Brian Kil.” He was said to be attempting to extort a girl by attempting to get her to send sexually explicit videos and photos. The girl was described as being younger than 12. Then after receiving photos and videos from the girl, and, when the victim refused to cooperate any further, online threats were posted on social media by Hernandez posing as “Brian Kil” aimed at a Plainfield High School girl and some of its students, including a post on Facebook claiming that there’d be a “bloodbath” at the school.
After targeting one victim in particular for 16 months, Hernandez threatened a massacre at Plainfield High School where the victim attended. One message read: “I will slaughter your entire class and save you for last. I will lean over you as you scream and cry and beg for mercy right before I slit your ear.”
He’d made threats to kill, rape, and kidnap hundreds and threats to use explosive devices against Plainfield and Danville high schools, the Shops at Perry Crossing in Plainfield, and a local Walmart. In the interest of public safety, school administrators decided to close the Plainfield and Danville high schools, and the shopping mall was evacuated and closed for a period just before Christmas 2015.
He also threatened violence if the police responded and made racial and homophobic slurs.
A news release issued Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis said, “In response to the threats, Plainfield school administrators and law enforcement scheduled a community forum at the high school. More than 1000 people attended. As part of his criminal tradecraft, Hernandez used counterintelligence at the forum. He coerced Victim 3, whom he had been extorting for years, to attend the forum, take notes, and record law enforcement’s statements about the investigation into ‘Brian Kil.’ Hernandez then posted information about the forum to make it appear as though he lived among his victims and could harm them at any moment. When discussing sending Victim 3 to the community forum, Hernandez said to Victim 3, ‘a lot of people think im too far to do anything. Thanks to you ill be quoting [expletive] directly from the forum. People are going to think twice about their kids safety after that.'”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany J. Preston prosecuted the case for the government.
If you believe you have been a victim of sextortion by Buster Hernandez, aka “Brian Kil” or aka “Purge of Maine,” call the Indianapolis FBI Office at 317-595-4000, Option 2, or submit the information to fbi.gov/tips. Federal officials released a list of the aliases used by Hernandez.
“Today we mark, with quiet satisfaction, that here evil has been met with justice. Conduct like this falls so far outside even the most basic understanding of human decency and compassion that our natural inclination might be to look away from this horrible spectacle. We cannot do so. We must acknowledge that evil such as this exists in our world so that we might give thanks for those brave men and women who give their all to see that it does not prevail and so that we are all reminded to do whatever we must to protect our children.
“Today also marks a milestone in a long and complex case that represents the efforts of an extremely talented group of federal prosecutors and law enforcement and state and local law enforcement from across the county. Sadly, but with hope for the future, today also allows us to importantly acknowledge the many victims of the defendant and even more importantly allows us to express our solidarity with them and to pledge our continued efforts in support of their healing.”Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress
“Mr. Hernandez has been sitting in a jail cell for more than three years since a collective law enforcement effort put an end to his reign of terror, and today’s sentence ensures he will remain behind bars for a very long time, unable to victimize anyone else, ever again. The communities of Plainfield and Danville, and those in other states where he victimized young girls, can rest easy knowing the FBI and our partners worked tirelessly and used all our resources to find him and bring this day about.”Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis special agent in charge
“The Plainfield Police Department is very pleased with the outcome of this multi-jurisdictional and nationwide investigation, prosecution and sentencing. Our hope is that the conviction and sentencing of this perpetrator is a relief to the many victims seeking closure. The countless victims, Town of Plainfield residents, the entire Plainfield Community School Corporation, and communities all over the country can find comfort in knowing that justice has been served. Our agency would like to thank the efforts of our federal, state, and local partners in bringing this case to closure, including the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the Indiana State Police and the Brownsburg Police Department.”Plainfield Police Chief Jared McKee
“This investigation is a shining example of the local, state, and federal cooperation that exists to effectively investigate and capture the predators that focus upon our children. The Brownsburg Police Department is proud to be part of the team that makes the protection of our children a priority and does not waiver in its stance to effectively locate and apprehend those who seek to bring them harm. We stand steadfast in support of the victims in their time of healing, as they are the true heroes in demonstrating bravery through adversity.”Brownsburg Police Chief Joseph Grimes