SILVER SPRING, MD – The Department of Justice on Monday announced the conviction of Patrick Lawrence Wood, age 35, of Silver Spring, on charges of conspiracy to produce child pornography.
According to the Department of Justice, Wood admitted that he paid co-conspirators in the Philippines to procure images and videos of children under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct requested by Wood
“The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department,” the DOJ said in a statement. “According to his guilty plea, Wood used a social media platform to solicit the production of child pornography and used various digital money transfer services to send payment to co-conspirators in exchange for images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, as requested by Wood.”
The Department of Justice issued the following facts surrounding this case:
As detailed in Wood’s plea agreement, the social media platform sent a Cybertipline Report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, about a user who had requested, and subsequently paid, another user to create sexually explicit images of a prepubescent male and female and send them via the platform’s private message function. Law enforcement identified Patrick Wood as the user and executed a search warrant at Wood’s residence, seizing a laptop computer, desktop computer, two cellular phones and two tablets.
A search of Wood’s social media accounts and the seized electronic devices revealed that Wood communicated with three co-conspirators in the Philippines to procure images and videos of minors engaged in sexual conduct. Those communications occurred over various digital platforms. Wood routinely paid a co-conspirator for access to videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including via live feeds involving a child engaged in the specific sexual conduct requested by and paid for by Wood. Images and videos of at least five minor male and female victims, all under the age of 12, engaging in sexual conduct were electronically sent during online chat sessions from co-conspirators in the Philippines to Wood, at Wood’s request, and in exchange for payment by Wood. During the four years prior to Wood’s arrest, he paid more than $40,000 to co-conspirators in the Philippines in exchange for the production of child pornography.
In addition, the investigation revealed that sexually explicit images and videos of at least eight minor male victims 14 to 17 years old were electronically sent to Wood at his request from locations in the United States during online chat sessions. At least one of those minor victims was also paid by Wood, in the form of gift cards and new clothes, for producing sexually explicit images requested by Wood.
In addition to the images and videos of child pornography identified on Wood’s social media and cloud-based storage accounts, the forensic examination of the devices seized from Wood’s home revealed over 150 images and five videos of child pornography. The forensic analysis also showed screenshots of a ticket confirmation for Wood to travel to Manila, Philippines for two weeks, but investigators confirmed that Wood did not ultimately travel there and cancelled the ticket.
As stated in his plea agreement, upon his release from prison, Wood will be required to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Wood and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Wood will be sentenced to between 17 years and 23 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for May 23, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.