Puna man charged with producing child porn


HONOLULU — Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a 56-year-old Big Island man with producing and distributing child pornography two days after the FBI distributed a photo of a suspect in the case and asked the public for help in finding him.

Bed-and-breakfast operator John Tucker of Pahoa was also charged with one count of possessing computer files of child pornography.

FBI agents arrested Tucker on the Big Island Wednesday. He due back in U.S. District Court in Honolulu for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 26.

Tucker’s lawyer, Brian DeLima, said he agrees with an FBI statement that suspects are innocent until proven guilty. He declined further comment.

The criminal complaint said Tucker produced the pornography of himself and the children around 2008.

An affidavit submitted with the criminal complaint said State of Hawaii authorities interviewed two children, now ages 7 and 10, who identified themselves and Tucker in the pornographic images. The children say the acts depicted occurred at Tucker’s home.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children initiated the investigation after receiving several pornographic images featuring the suspect and two minors, the affidavit said. The pictures appeared to have been taken at a residence, and a 2008-2009 Hawaii Island telephone book issued by Hawaiian Telcom could be seen in the background of one.

The FBI on Tuesday issued photos of a suspect along with a statement asking the public to help them identify the man. Several callers called the FBI within hours of the press release, saying the suspect was Tucker.

Agents executing a search warrant on for Tucker’s residence on Wednesday saw a desk shown in the pornographic images. They also found a computer containing mages of child pornography. At least one of those photos showed a child depicted in the images that triggered the investigation.

Tucker is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu.

The government asked the judge to keep Tucker in custody because of the nature of the charges, the danger Tucker presents the community and because he’s a flight risk, Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Tong said.

DeLima agreed Tucker should stay in custody, but said he may seek reconsideration at a later date, Tong said.

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Audrey McAvoy contributed to this report.