Wednesday, July 20, 2011

St. Louis Aerotropolis Partner Arrested for Child Porn

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Robert Hedrick was denied bail, so maybe he still has available that $50 million for St. Louis Aerotropolis. - KVEO.COM
  • kveo.com
  • Robert Hedrick was denied bail, so maybe he still has available that $50 million for St. Louis Aerotropolis.
Wow. Rough couple weeks for St. Louis officials hoping to turn Lambert Field into a major cargo hub with China and Latin America.

First, industry experts assail the project (Exhibit A, Exhibit B). Now, its partner for trade with Latin America has been indicted for kiddie porn.

In May, Robert Hedrick pledged to invest $50 million into renovating the St. Louis airport for a cargo hub to serve his Pan American Airways, an upstart company that uses the famous name of a former passenger airline.

Now that promised investment seems less than certain, after Hedrick was arrested Monday in his hometown of Brownsville, Texas, on child pornography charges.

According to prosecutors, the 60-year-old used the online handle "sftg007" to share lewd images of minors with undercover investigators in Wisconsin and Louisiana.

Yesterday, Lambert officials tried to downplay the effect of Hedrick's arrest on their plans for cargo hub, dubbed "St. Louis Aerotropolis."

"We are disturbed by the allegations," airport spokesman Jeff Lea told the St. Louis Business Journal.  "As we work on the development of an international cargo hub at Lambert, Pan American Airways is one of many potential vendors who have expressed an interest in linking cargo activity between China and Latin and South America via St. Louis."

But maybe it will get better soon for St. Louis' dreams of hosting a cargo hub. We hear that the airport is going to make a big announcement today and that Chinese delegates are arriving in town tonight.

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