An Androscoggin County man who used Internet connections from at least one restaurant in the Lewiston area to download sexually explicit images of children pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of receiving child pornography.

Jody G. Moczara, 34, of Sabattus, appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland before Judge George Singal and waived his right to have the case against him presented to a grand jury.

Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security began investigating Moczara after the Maine State Police Computer Crime Unit executed a search warrant at Marco’s Italian Restaurant in Lewiston on July 10, looking for evidence that someone there had downloaded child pornography, according to court records.

After interviewing everyone at the restaurant, investigators ruled out employees and customers. However, some of those interviewed recalled seeing a green Ford Explorer with clothes blocking its windows parked across the street the day before the search warrant was executed. Investigators determined that the truck was registered to Moczara, said David Fife, a Homeland Security agent, in a court affidavit.

Investigators made another connection after they executed a search warrant at a residence in Winthrop. They found that the same person who had used the restaurant’s Internet connection to download child pornography had made more such downloads using the Internet connection at the Winthrop residence, Fife wrote in the affidavit.

The owner of the Winthrop residence told police that Moczara worked for him, installing drywall at an unfinished home in Rumford. The owner said he had asked Moczara to water the plants at his residence while he and his wife were out of town, according to Fife.

Investigators confronted Moczara at the Rumford job site. He initially denied downloading child pornography but admitted using Internet connections at various restaurants in the Lewiston area while he was in his vehicle, the affidavit states.

Investigators searched Moczara’s Explorer and discovered downloaded child pornography on a laptop computer inside, Fife wrote.

Moczara has remained in federal custody since his arrest on Aug. 7, and will remain in custody pending his sentencing on Feb. 12.

He faces a minimum of five years and up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @scottddolan