2022 | Courts

Silver Spring man sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to produce child pornography

More than 150 images and videos were found on his electronic devices, authorities say

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The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.

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A Silver Spring man was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in federal prison for conspiring to produce child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced.

Patrick Lawrence Wood, 35, told authorities that he paid co-conspirators in the Philippines to procure pictures and videos of children younger than 12 that were “engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a press release.

According to Wood’s guilty plea, he solicited the production of pornography on social media and used digital currency platforms to pay the co-conspirators. A social media platform notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user had paid another user to create sexually explicit pictures of minors, according to the plea.

According to authorities, Wood communicated with the co-conspirators between July 18, 2018 and July 27, 2018.

Authorities identified Wood as the user and executed a search warrant at his home, seizing two computers, two cellphones and two tablets, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

After searching Wood’s social media accounts and electronic devices, authorities determined Wood communicated with three “co-conspirators” in the Philippines, including paying one for access to videos and pictures of minors. Images of at least five minors under the age of 12 were sent from the co-conspirators to Wood during online chat sessions, according to the plea.

The investigation also revealed that sexually explicit images and videos of at least eight boys ages 14 to 17 were sent to Wood at his request from locations in the United States during online chat sessions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Wood paid at least one of those victims in the form of gift cards and new clothes, according to authorities. It was not clear who sent Wood images of the other seven victims.

Authorities found more than 150 photos and five videos of child pornography on Wood’s devices.

Wood was indicted in August 2018 and pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography, according to court records.

After Wood serves his sentence, he will be on lifetime supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. His attorney, Amy Fitzgibbons of the federal public defender’s office, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com