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Pahoa man in court on child pornography charges

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

A Pahoa man sought by the FBI on child pornography charges was arrested Wednesday and appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

John Tucker, 56, was arrested for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography in Hilo after police executed a search warrant at the bed-and-breakfast in Leilani Estates he runs with his wife.

An FBI indictment charged Tucker with two criminal counts: Inducing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual recordings that were transported across state lines and possession of images on a computer of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

John Tucker

According to reports from Honolulu, Tucker appeared in the courtroom of Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren and was represented by Hilo attorney Brian DeLima.

Tucker did not contest the federal government’s motion to detain him without bail. Tucker is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu until an Oct. 25 preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court.

FBI agents have been working on the case since 2010, when they were alerted to photographs on the Internet that depicted a man engaging in graphic sexual acts with two pre-teenaged children, a girl and a boy.

The photos were widely circulated among various illegal Internet forums for the sharing of child pornography, the FBI reported.

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 Hawaii’s Big Island in the background.

A desktop computer in the background of another photo leads investigators to conclude that the photo was likely not taken in a hotel room.

Tips from the public led authorities to Tucker within hours of the FBI asking for help in identifying the man in the photographs.

According to court documents, investigators were able to interview the boy and the girl – now ages 10 and 7 – and they were able to identify themselves and Tucker in the photos.

Court documents also indicate a computer seized in the search contained other images of child pornography.

Tucker, who is married and has two children, reportedly has lived in Leilani Estates for more than a decade.

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