By Wendy Osher
A criminal complaint was filed in US District Court today against a Pahoa man accused of the production and distribution of child pornography.
John Tucker, 56, was arrested last night on the Big Island of Hawai’i after the FBI launched a search, seeking the public’s help in identifying a man from photographs that had been circulated widely among various illegal internet forums for the sharing of child pornography.
The complaint states that, in or about 2008, Tucker, “did use, persuade, induce and entice a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.” It further sates that the photographs had been transported in interstate and foreign commerce.
A second count in the criminal complaint states that on or about October 10, 2012, Tucker, “did knowingly possess a desktop computer which contained visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
The case first came to the FBI’s attention in 2010 when a series of photographs surfaced on the internet depicting the man allegedly engaging in graphic sex acts with two children.
Investigators for the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children enhanced one of the photos to develop an image of what appears to be a 2008 Hawaiian Telcom phone book for the Big Island of Hawai’i in the background. The image led investigators to believe that the photos were taken between 2008 and 2010.
According to a affidavit filed in support of the complaint, FBI Special Agent Ethan Cumming said that the department received several leads within hours of requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the individual from the photos.
Based on further investigative efforts, the FBI determined that Tucker resided in and operated a bed and breakfast residence in Pahoa.
On October 9, 2012, the affidavit states that two FBI special agents located “two prepubescent children who appeared to be the children shown in the child pornography images forwarded by NCMEC to the FBI Honolulu Division.”
The older child was a 10-year-old boy, and the younger child was a 7-year-old girl, according to FBI statements in the criminal complaint.
During an interview conducted by state authorities yesterday, the two children identified themselves and Tucker in the photographs and said the acts depicted occurred in Tucker’s Pahoa home.
A preliminary forensic search of a computer within the home, “revealed the presence of child pornography images, at least one of which depicted one of the aforementioned children engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” the complaint stated.
Tucker’s initial court appearance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. today in the Honolulu US District Courtroom of US Magistrate Judge Barry M. Kurren.