As reported in The Day Pfizer is well known as a manufacturer of many medications, including psychiatric drugs.
Federal agents have charged Pfizer Inc.'s global patent director with receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography and are holding him without bond.
Alan Hesketh, 61, of 202 Montauk Ave., Stonington, is accused of posing as a 28-year-old female while trading hundreds of images of children engaged in sexual acts.
He allegedly traded the images with a man from Buffalo, N.Y., while chatting with him online between June 2006 and May 2007.
The two men discussed, “among other things, the sexual molestation of children involving the use of human defecation,” according to a court document.
Hesketh allegedly used the screen name “Suzibibaby” during the online sessions.
Federal agents found he signed on as “Suzibibaby” from his home in Stonington and from several other Internet addresses, including one registered to Pfizer in New York and another at the Tudor Hotel at the United Nations, where he was a guest for three days in December 2007.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Hesketh at JFK International Airport in New York on Wednesday.
Hesketh is a British citizen and a permanent resident of the United States, where he has lived since 2002. It did not appear he was trying to flee the country at the time of his arrest, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.
Hesketh was presented in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Thursday, where Judge Donna F. Martinez scheduled a bond hearing for Monday afternoon.
Pfizer spokeswoman Liz Power said Thursday that Hesketh, whose office is in New London, is on a leave of absence from the company.
“Pfizer will cooperate with authorities in any investigation,” she said.
Hesketh is the company's vice president and global head of patents, which is a part of the legal division of Pfizer Inc.
According to an affidavit prepared by Special Agent Jason P. Dragon, an investigation that began in Buffalo in June 2007 led authorities to Hesketh.
Federal agents suspected Buffalo resident Gregory Nadolski of sharing and receiving images of child pornography via the Google “hello” file-sharing program, which enables users to share digital images with one another while chatting online.
The authorities seized two computers from Nadolski, who admitted to possessing child pornography and trading images online using the screen name “mrko9850.”
Nadolski's computer contained 27 “hello” chat logs between the screen names “mrko9850” and “Suzibibaby” — Hesketh's alleged screen name. The two shared more than 1,000 images, many of which appeared to contain child pornography.
The Buffalo office on Feb. 22 turned over a disk containing the images and video files to Dragon, the Hartford agent.
Dragon prepared a 40-page affidavit, dated March 26, that requests a judge's permission to search the Montauk Avenue, Stonington, home where Hesketh resides with Jan Hesketh and to seize Hesketh's computer. It was unclear Thursday evening whether the search has been conducted.
The affidavit contains the text of a “hello” chat conversation that allegedly took place between Hesketh and Nadolski in the early-morning hours of April 24, 2007. The two sent 85 photos back and forth to one another while carrying on an explicit discussion involving babies, feces and sexual acts.
At one point, “Suzibibaby” sent “mrko9850” a picture of “herself.” The pictured depicted a 25- to 30-year-old woman, according to the court document.
As a defendant in a federal court case, Hesketh is entitled to have the case presented to a grand jury. If he is indicted and convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and maximum term of 20 years for receiving and distributing child pornography and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of child porn. He also faces as much as $500,000 in fines.
Hesketh is being prosecuted as part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.