Border Patrol Agent Arrested for Distribution of Child Pornography
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Keith E. Hook, age 54, of Oswego, New York, appeared in federal court today on a charge that he distributed child pornography over the internet, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin M. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to the federal criminal complaint, Hook, a United States Border Patrol Agent, used the Kik Messenger application to distribute child pornography to other Kik users from April 30, 2018 through May 4, 2018. As alleged in the complaint, an initial forensic review of his personally owned iPod revealed that it contained approximately 34 image files and 2 video files depicting child pornography. The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Hook appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter, who ordered him detained pending a hearing scheduled for July 6, 2018.
If convicted, Hook faces at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison, a term of post-release supervision of at least 5 years and up to life, and a fine of up to $250,000. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. Additionally, if convicted, Hook would be required to register as a sex offender.
This case is being investigated by HSI Syracuse with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (DHS/OIG); U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility; the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit; and the New York State Police (Fulton station). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.