PORTLAND, Maine: A Portland man pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced.
According to court records, on April 29 of this year, investigators with the FBI executed search warrants for the residence and person of Andrew Hazelton, 28. Investigators encountered Hazelton just outside the residence and informed him of the warrants. He had a Samsung smartphone in his pants pocket that he provided to investigators and later unlocked. An analysis of the phone revealed a folder containing dozens of video files depicting minors, some of them prepubescent, engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Hazelton faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI investigated the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.