LEWISTON — A Lewiston martial arts studio owner was arrested on a child pornography charge Wednesday at his Augusta workplace.
Wade Hoover, 34, of Augusta, was taken into custody at the offices of the National Alliance on Mental Illness where he is a staff member, according to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Hoover also owns and operates the Koshowarrior's Martial Arts studio at the Markeplace Mall on Main Street in Lewiston. According to the Kosho website, Hoover participates in several youth programs that include camping trips, hiking, sleepovers and beach training.
According to the website, Hoover teaches children as young as 3 years old in the Little Ninjas Program.
On Wednesday, members of the State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, acting on a tip, went to Hoover's office in Augusta. There, according to McCausland, they found he was using his personal computer to distribute child pornography over the agency's Internet service.
Investigators found dozens of images of child porn on his computer, according to McCausland. Police believe at least one of the children is from Maine, although it was unclear if that child was involved in Hoover's karate class.
According the Kosho website bio: "Sensei Wade Hoover is a two-time combat veteran, former Security Forces member and former instructor for the Augusta United Martial Arts Academies. Sensei has been studying the arts for over 20 years..."
Police said officials at Hoover's Augusta workplace cooperated with the investigation and said they had no idea their Internet connection was being used to distribute child porn.
Hoover was charged with possessing sexually explicit material and taken to the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta where he remained later Wednesday.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. They expect more charges will be filed after Hoover's computer is further examined.