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UPDATE: FBI Reveals Details in Pahoa Child-Porn Case

Posted October 11, 2012, 10:45 AM HST Updated January 31, 2013, 10:51 AM HST
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John Tucker’s photo from the Willocks Construction website.

A Pahoa man arrested by federal authorities Wednesday night for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography is well-known in the East Hawaii community.

For at least the past decade, John R. Tucker, along with his wife PetraWiesenbauer,have operated a bed-and-breakfast operation in lower Puna known as Hale Makamae. Family pictures posted on his wife’s Facebook page show the couple with their two children, a girl and an older boy.

Tucker, 56, was arrested Wednesday night at the Hilo police station following the execution of a search warrant at the bed-and-breakfast located on Makamae Street in the subdivision of Leilani Estates.

Tom Simon, a special agent in the FBI’s Honolulu office, said a court appearance was scheduled for Tucker at 2:30 p.m. today in the Honolulu US District Courtroom of US Magistrate Judge Barry M. Kurren.

An indictment issued this afternoon by the FBI charged Tucker with two criminal counts. The first charged him with inducing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct in 2008 for the purpose of producing visual recordings that were transported across state lines.

The second count accuses Tucker of possession yesterday of images on a computer of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

An affidavit by Honolulu FBI special agent Ethan Cumming accompanying the criminal complaint said the same prepubescent child victims in images for which Tucker was charged turned up in other images during an unrelated investigation conducted by FBI agents in Arizona.

The affidavit said that the images showed the man receiving oral sex from the minors, apparently in Tucker’s residence.

Tucker was being sought by the FBI in connection with photos of a man allegedly involved in graphic sexual activity with two young children, a girl and a boy, posted on the internet in 2010. The girl in the photograph was estimated to be 4-years-old and the boy about 9.

Although they did not initially know his identity, FBI agents traced the photos to the Big Island after identifying an image of a 2008 Hawaii County telephone book in the background of one of the photos.

The FBI issued a press release with the photos on Tuesday morning and a day later announced they had identified the suspect through tips from the public. The affidavit filed today said the FBI began receiving calls “within hours” identifying Tucker as the man in the photos.

According to the Hale Makamae website, Tucker is from the East Coast of the US and his wife is originally from Germany, and the two have been on the Big Island since 1999. The website notes that both speak German.

John Tucker and his wife, Petra Wiesenbauer, from the website for Hale Makamae, the bed-and-breakfast they have been operating.

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The website said Hale Makamae was a member of the Hawaii Island Bed & Breakfast Association, the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. It said Hale Makamae was a winner in 2011 of a “certificate of excellence” from TripAdvisor.

In the Hawaiian Language, Makamae means “precious” or “cherished.”

The bed-and-breakfast’s website invites customers to “relax and enjoy the Aloha Spirit and the warm hospitality of our home.”

Along with touting comfortable and private lodgings and gourmet island breakfast, the operation encourages customers to “Feel welcome in our warm family environment – we love children.”

Tucker was also listed as a salesman for the Hilo-based Willocks Contruction Corp. on its website.

Company officials at Willocks could not immediately be reached this morning.

“We’re all saying our prayers and hoping for justice,” said a woman answering the telephone at the longtime construction company who did not give her name.

A call to Hale Makamae today reached an answering machine and was not immediately returned.

Posts were being made on the Hale Makamae Facebook page beginning late last night directing viewers to news accounts of Tucker’s arrest and saying a “monster is running this business.”

Tucker’s wife, Wiesenbauer, has been an pro-geothermal activist and has posted comments on the local blog Big Island Chronicle as recently as last week.

***Updated at 3 p.m. with information on the criminal complaint and to correct that Wiesenbauer is a pro-geothermal activist.***

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