Robert L. Hedrick, Pan American Airways founder, sentenced on child pornography charges

Started Texas cargo airline

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- The founder of a Texas cargo airline has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for federal child pornography charges.

   Robert L. Hedrick was accused by prosecutors of having explicit chats with undercover officers posing as young teenage girls. The 61-year-old founder of Pan American Airways was convicted May 21 of three federal counts.

   He was sentenced Wednesday morning in South Texas.

   Hedrick was arrested last year after Wisconsin and Louisiana authorities traced chats to an online account registered to him. Investigators said they later found he had saved 2,400 pornographic images.

   Hedrick has maintained his innocence.

   He had faced up to 20 years in prison for distribution of child pornography. He was also convicted of transferring obscene materials to a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of children.