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Child Exploitation

Maine man sentenced to 40 years in prison for producing child pornography

BANGOR, Maine – A southwestern Maine resident was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 40 years in federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography.

This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Maine State Police.

Wade Robert Hoover, 35, of Augusta, was sentenced to 480 months in prison, which is to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Hoover was sentenced on one count each of sexually exploiting children to manufacture child pornography and possessing child pornography depicting other children. He pleaded guilty to the charges Feb. 5.

Court records showed that between 2008 and 2012 Hoover sexually abused two children and took pictures and video of that abuse. In addition to sexually explicit images of these children, Hoover possessed images of other child pornography images that he had downloaded from the Internet. His crimes were discovered following an undercover law enforcement operation that led to Hoover’s place of employment in Augusta. While executing a subsequent search warrant, federal and state law enforcement authorities seized computers and hard drives from Hoover which were later analyzed to identify the child pornography.

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.