A former New Bedford police officer has been sentenced to six years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Paul Hodson II, 44, of Acushnet, was sentenced today in federal court in Boston. In December 2019, Hodson pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Hodson was arrested in 2019 following an investigation into peer-to-peer file-sharing networks for the trade of child pornography. An early-morning search warrant was executed at Hodson’s home. The officer, then 42, was home with his wife and 6-year-old child, it was reported at the time.

Hodson was interviewed on the scene and admitted to trading child pornography, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. Hundreds of child pornography files were recovered from Hodson’s computer including at least one file that was distributed to undercover law enforcement. Court documents state that the files included pictures and videos of underage girls involved in sex acts with other children and adults.

Lelling and William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement. Assistance was provided by Massachusetts State Police and the Acushnet Police Department. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to protect children from exploitation and abuse.

The New Bedford Police Department previously said Hodson resigned while the city was in the process of firing him. Today, a spokeswoman for New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro confirmed that Hodson resigned after he was arrested.  She added that there was no evidence he used police department computers for his criminal activity.

“I am pleased that justice has been served regarding this very disturbing situation," said Cordeiro in a statement. "More importantly, I am satisfied he will be off the street for the next six years. His abhorrent behavior has no place in our society.”

Enter your number to get our free mobile app