A man accused of being involved in the distribution of child pornography and making sexually explicit images of children has been arrested by authorities in Toronto, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said Thursday.
Robert Hoffman, 62, of Toronto, was arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.
Hoffman has been charged with one count of possession and transfer of child pornography. If convicted, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, a confidential source who provided Hoffman with cash that could be used to entice other children to engage in sexually explicit acts with Hoffman was arrested for similar charges earlier this year.
“One of the greatest challenges we face as a nation is the sexual exploitation of children,” McQuade said. “Child pornography is not consensual; it destroys lives and often forces children to become addicts.”
Weeks after being released on bond, the confidential source was arrested again on child pornography charges.
“Investigators quickly determined that Hoffman had a history of building relationships with children, and then using that time to ‘parent’ them,” according to the complaint.
After viewing undercover child pornography online, Hoffman gave the undercover agent a blue cell phone to maintain the relationship.
Hoffman is currently being held at a detention facility in El Paso, Texas.
– Greg Cergol