Former airline mogul Robert Hedrick was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday on child pornography charges.
Hedrick, the 61-year-old founder of Pan American Airways, maintained his innocence on charges of attempting to produce images of child pornography, transfer of obscene materials to a minor and distribution and possession of child pornography, the Brownsville Herald reported.
“I can’t ask the court for anything. I was framed. I didn’t do what I was charged and convicted of,” the former airline mogul told the court, according to the paper.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Shanen sentenced Hedrick to 360 months in prison Wednesday in a Texas courtroom.
Authorities were able to arrest Hedrick after federal agents posed as young girls and had sexually explicit online chats with the former airline mogul, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors showed evidence that Hedrick was chatting with undercover officers who posed as 13- and 14-year old girls, the AP reported.
The mogul’s attorneys said it wasn’t Hedrick who was chatting with the officers, and said he has a “long list of enemies” who would want to frame him, according to the wire service.
Prosecutors said Hedrick planned on convincing young girls to send him nude pictures of themselves, and used the chat rooms as a means to achieve his goal. The former mogul would initiate sexually explicit messages with the girls and send them pornography, the AP reported.
Hedrick’s attorney, Ed Stapleton, told the wire service that the former airline mogul plans to appeal the guilty verdict.
In addition to his 30-year sentence, Hedrick was also ordered to pay $5 million in restitution, according to the Herald.