AG: 8 arrested during child pornography investigation (MUGSHOTS)

Updated:

HARRISBURG, Pa. —

Eight men have been arrested on unrelated charges as part of a statewide sweep over the past week to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography, Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced Friday.

The defendants are identified as:

  • David Burke Sr., 60, Altoona, Blair County
  • Charles Weiher, 67, Shaler, Allegheny County
  • Samuel Askinas, 25, Downingtown, Chester County
  • Edgardo Hernandez, 22, Philadelphia
  • Edward Campion Jr., 41, Charleroi, Washington County
  • Yorgardy Leonardo, 19, Philadelphia
  • Justin Sells, 32, North Versailles, Allegheny County
  • Dane Blood, 30, North Versailles, Allegheny County.

David Burke Sr.

Agents conducting an online investigation into the distribution of child pornography, identified an IP address making numerous files of children, under the age of 18, engaged in graphic sexual acts and poses, available for download. The computer was later identified as belonging to Burke.

A search was executed at Burke's Altoona residence resulting in the seizure of a laptop computer and various other electronic media. Burke was taken into custody April 3 following the search of his home.

Burke is charged with four counts of distribution child pornography, two counts of possession child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Aucker and held on $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 16.

Charles Weiher

According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting an online investigation noticed several media files containing suspected child pornography downloaded from a peer-to-peer network. Agents determined that the images were downloaded through an IP address belonging to Weiher.

A search of Weiher's Shaler residence resulted in the seizure of a computer and other media storage devices. The items were previewed by computer forensics experts and revealed several files indicative of child pornography. The items will be further analyzed by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Weiher is charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was taken into custody April 3 and held in the Allegheny County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled before Magisterial District Judge Robert Dzvonick at 10 a.m. April 10.

Samuel Askinas

Askinas was taken into custody on April 2 following an investigation into the online distribution and sharing of child pornography. According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting and undercover investigation located an IP address making several files of investigative interest available for download.

The charges state that the computer was later identified as belonging to Askinas, who allegedly used at least two online programs to search for "preteen hard core" child pornography.

Agents along with police from Downingtown Police Department executed a search of Askinas' Downingtown residence and seized a computer, which was previewed by computer forensics agents. A preliminary analysis revealed approximately 100 videos of child pornography stored on the computer and nearly 700 child pornography videos in the "incoming" program running on a file sharing program.

Askinas is charged with 50 counts of possession of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.'

He was released after posting $75,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 9.

Edgardo Hernandez

According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting an online investigation into the distribution of child pornography identified an IP address making files of children, under the age of 18, engaged in graphic sexual acts and poses, available for download. The computer was later identified as belonging to Hernandez.

Agents along with police from the Philadelphia Police Department executed a search of Hernandez's Philadelphia residence and seized a computer, which will be analyzed by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Hernandez was taken into custody on April 1 and charged with two counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was released after posting 10 percent of the set $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17.

 Edward Campion Jr.

The Attorney General's Child Predator Section began an investigation into Campion following a cyber-tip line report generated through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Agents executed a search of Campion's Charleroi residence and seized two laptops, two flash drives and one computer tower. The items were previewed by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit and found to contain more than 1,000 image files and hundreds of video files of suspected child pornography.

Campion was arrested on April 1 and charged with 21 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Ethan Ward and held in the Washington County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled before Charleroi Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins on Monday, April 14.

Yorgardy Leonardo

Leonardo was arrested on April 1 and charged with four counts of possession of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting an undercover investigation noticed suspected child pornography being made available for download by an IP address, which was later identified as belonging to Leonardo.

Agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Section, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers from the Philadelphia Police Department executed a search of Leonardo's Philadelphia residence and seized a computer, which was previewed and found to contain suspected child pornography.

Leonardo was released after posting 10 percent of the set $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17.

Justin Sells

According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting an online investigation into the distribution of child pornography identified an IP address making files of children, under the age of 18, engaged in graphic sexual acts and poses, available for download. The computer was later identified as belonging to Sells.

Agents along with police from North Versailles Township Police Department executed a search of Sells' North Versailles residence and seized a computer tower, which housed multiple hard drives. The tower was previewed by computer forensics agents and found to contain 101 video files and thousands of still images of suspected child pornography.

Sells is charged with five counts of distribution of child pornography, five counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was taken into custody on March 31 and held in the Allegheny County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Dane Blood

Blood was taken into custody on March 31 following a two-week investigation by the Attorney General's Child Predator Section into the illegal sharing and distribution of child pornography.

The charges state that agents identified an IP address making numerous files of prepubescent children, engaged in graphic sexual acts and poses, available for download. The computer's IP address was later identified as belonging to Blood's North Versailles residence.

Blood is charged with 12 counts of possession of child pornography, eight counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. Following his arrest he was held in the Allegheny County Prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.