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Texas Airline Mogul Gets Thirty Years In Prison For Porn

By CICELY MITCHELL, CBS Houston
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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Robert L. Hedrick, founder of a South Texas cargo airline, was given 30 years in prison Wednesday for federal child pornography charges. During an undercover sting, officers posing as young teenage girls said they caught Hendrick engaging in explicit online chats with them.

Sixty-one-year-old Hedrick was sentenced in federal court in Brownsville, Texas. During the trial, the former airline visionary blamed former business associates for conspiring to frame him: “I can’t ask the court for anything,” Hedrick said Wednesday, according to media outlets. “I was framed. I didn’t do what I was charged and convicted of.”

Hedrick founded the cargo airline, Pan American Airways and set up shop for his operations in a building that once belonged to Pan American World Airways. Hedrick’s airline ran flights between the U.S. and Latin America.

During trial, the jury learned that between March 8, 2010, and Nov. 22, 2010, Hedrick contacted undercover investigators in Louisiana and Wisconsin through Yahoo instant messenger and email more than 20 times about sexually explicit activity.

During his online communications, Hedrick shared over 100 images of adult and child pornography with detectives who were posing as 13 and 14-year-old girls.

Hedrick also requested  that the undercover officers send him sexually explicit pictures of them in poses and sex acts.

Prosecutors played an audio recording phone call between Hedrick and an undercover detective. During the recording Hedrick attempted to initiate phone sex.

Hedrick will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined at a later date.

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