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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fairbanks Sex Offender Convicted of Receipt of Child Pornography

U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that on November 8, 2017, a federal jury in Fairbanks convicted Tommy Hanson, 54, of receipt of child pornography.

Hanson was found guilty after a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline of the District of Alaska.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 19, 2018, in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Because Hanson was previously convicted of possession of child pornography, the maximum penalty for the defendant’s conviction is not less than 15 years imprisonment and up to 30 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, a term of supervised release of five years to life, and a $100 special assessment.

According to evidence presented at trial, in 2007 Hanson pled guilty to the possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 96 months imprisonment.  In that case, Hanson admitted to the use of newsgroup binaries to receive thousands of images of depicting child sexual exploitation, and then backing those images up to CD-ROMS. 

Following his release from imprisonment in 2012, Hanson was subjected to a term of supervised release.  As a condition of his release, Hanson was not to possess computers without the approval of the probation office, and if found in possession of any computers, the devices were subject to search.

United States Probation Officers searched the defendant’s home in North Pole, Alaska on October 12, 2016.  During the search, the probation officers found the defendant in possession of an unauthorized computer and an external hard drive.  A forensic search of the computer and hard drive by the FBI revealed thousands of images of child pornography that the defendant had downloaded between 2012 and 2016 using internet newsgroups, after his release in the prior case.  The FBI discovered additional forensic evidence linking Hanson to the computer and external hard drive, such as Skype chat logs.  In those Skype chat logs Hanson told a friend that he was not allowed to have computer but that he was not concerned about being searched by the “feds” given the remote location of his home. 

This case was investigated by the United States Probation Office, FBI agents and analysts in Fairbanks and Anchorage, and FBI’s Electronic Device Analysis Unit in Quantico, Virginia.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Adam Alexander and Kyle Reardon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide and the Criminal Division’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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated November 13, 2017