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Airline Mogul Gets 30 Years In Prison After Child Porn Conviction

Airline Mogul Gets 30 Years After Child Porn Conviction

An airline mogul gets 30 years in prison after being convicted in federal child pornography charges after an operation in which undercover officers posed as teenage girls and engaged in explicit chats online with the man.

Robert L. Hedrick was convicted in May of distribution and possession of child pornography, transfer of obscene materials to a minor, and attempted sexual exploitation of children. On Wednesday, US District Judge Andrew Hanen decided that that airline mogul gets 30 years for the crimes, The Associated Press reported.

Hedrick, the founder of Pan American Airways, was arrested after undercover authorities traced sexually explicit chat-room exchanges to an account registered to him.In the chats, the officers posed as 13- and 14-year-old girls.

Investigators later search three hard drives in his home, finding 2,400 pornographic images.

Though the airline mogul gets 30 years for the child porn crimes, he says he’s innocent. His defense team tried to claim that it wasn’t Hedrick at the computer, and noted that he has a long list of enemies.

“I can’t ask the court for anything,” Hedrick said Wednesday, according to the Brownsville Herald. “I was framed. I didn’t do what I was charged and convicted of.”

Pan American Airways is a freight carrier that started its operations in a building that once belonged to Pan American World Airways. Better known as Pan Am, that airline collapsed in 1991.

The mogul gets 30 years in part because of his reluctance to take a plea bargain. Defense attorney Ed Stapleton said pleading guilty would have kept him behind bars for the rest of his life anyway, and this way Stapleton will at least be able to appeal the sentence.

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