Former Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Distribution, Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography
Keith Hook Admits to Trading Child Pornography While On Duty as a Border Patrol Agent
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Keith E. Hook, age 55, of Oswego, New York, pled guilty today to distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith stated: “It is a sad day when a federal agent sworn to protect the public violates that duty in such a profound way. Former Border Patrol Agent Hook exploited the most vulnerable members of our community, our children, by trading child pornography both on and off duty. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, Hook will now be held fully accountable for his despicable conduct.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly stated: “The actions of an individual officer sworn to protect the public should in no way tarnish the excellent reputation of the overwhelming majority of those who wear the badge. This case should however demonstrate that HSI will hold accountable all of those involved in these crimes, regardless of the position they hold in the community.”
In entering his guilty plea today in United States District Court, Hook, formerly a Border Patrol Agent, admitted that he used the Kik Messenger application to distribute and receive child pornography from other Kik users from January 2018 through July 2018. Hook, using his iPod Touch, traded images of child pornography using a Wifi connection both at his home and while on duty at the Oswego Port of Entry. Forensic analysis of Hook’s iPod revealed that at the time of his arrest he possessed on his iPod 138 images and 4 video files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition to those images, Hook also had 10 video files and over 200 image files saved in his iCloud storage account and another 3 images stored on his laptop computer. The images and videos included depictions of the rape and sodomy of prepubescent children and toddlers.
United States District Judge David N. Hurd will sentence Hook on October 24, 2019. He faces at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison for the distribution and receipt charges and up to 20 years in prison on the possession charge; a term of post-release supervision of at least 5 years and up to life; and a fine of up to $250,000. Hook will also be required to register as a sex offender.
This case is being investigated by HSI Syracuse with assistance from Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility, New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit, and the New York State Police-Troop D, and 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.