Man indicted on child porn charges
Date: January 30, 2004
Source: Daily Freeman
ALBANY - The operator of the Bellayre Hostel in Pine Hill was indicted last week on charges he was found in possession of child pornography and a weapon, police said.
Thomas Pidel, 38, of Hostel Drive, Pine Hill, was indicted Jan. 23 on a three-count federal indictment charging him with receiving and possessing child pornography and possessing a weapon after he had been convicted of a crime.
State police at Ulster said Pidel, the operator of the Belleayre Hostel on Hostel Drive in Pine Hill, was arrested Jan. 16 following an investigation and a search by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement team along with the state police and town of Shandaken police.
Police said Pidel was charged with receiving child pornography between Sept. 2002 and Jan. 2004 and with possessing the pornography on computer discs. Pidel was also charged with possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a crime while in the armed forces, police said. Further information on Pidel's past conviction was not available.
Police said Immigration and Customs Enforcement began the investigation after agents became aware of Pidel's conduct from information developed during "Operation Predator," a worldwide initiative to "halt the exploitation of children by targeting cyber pornographers, criminal aliens and sex tourists."
Pidel was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Homer and was detained without bail pending a trial, police said.
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