PORTLAND, Maine—A Portland man was sentenced today in federal court for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.
U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. sentenced Andrew Hazelton, 29, to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Hazelton pleaded guilty on July 22, 2021.
According to court records, in October 2019, Hazelton chatted online with a 10-year-old girl. During the chat—after learning that the girl was 10—he said he wanted to see her “sexy body,” and asked her to send him pictures of her in her panties and without a shirt. He also said he wished he could have sex with her.
FBI investigators later learned of the chat, and in April 2021 executed search warrants for Hazelton’s Portland residence and for his person. Agents encountered Hazelton just outside the residence. He had a smartphone in his pants pocket that he provided to investigators. An analysis of the phone revealed a folder containing dozens of video files depicting minors, some of them prepubescent, engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
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.
To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of child pornography, file a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.com or 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action. If you have an emergency that requires an immediate law enforcement response, please call 911 or contact your local police or sheriff’s department.