AG: Undercover investigation nets arrests of suspected child predators

Updated:

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. - Three Pennsylvania men have been arrested on unrelated charges as part of ongoing efforts to target the online sharing and distribution of child pornography, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Friday

The latest arrests occurred over the past week in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties, she said.

According to the criminal complaint, 29-year-old Daniel Stewart used a peer-to-peer network in order to make files - containing prepubescent children engaged in graphic sexual acts - available for download.

Agents conducting an undercover investigation successfully downloaded those files and through the computer's IP address identified Stewart's Allegheny County apartment as the source, the complaint said.

A search of Stewart's Coraopolis residence resulted in the seizure of a laptop and other electronic devices, which contained apparent child pornography, Kane said.

Stewart was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with six counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, Kane said.

The charges in a second case state that agents, who were conducting an online investigation, identified a computer on a peer-to-peer network making several media files - believed to depict child pornography - available for download.

The computer's IP address was later identified as serving the home of 54-year-old Barry Burton.

Burton was arrested on Wednesday and charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, Kane said.

He was preliminarily arraigned and held in the Philadelphia Prison in lieu of $75,000 - 10 percent bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16.

Kareaan Moss, 28, was also arrested on Wednesday following an undercover investigation into the dissemination of child pornography, Kane said.

Again, agents identified a computer on a peer-to-peer network sharing media files believed to depict explicit images of children.

According to the criminal complaint, agents successfully downloaded two of those files, which depicted children engaged in graphic sexual acts and or poses. The computer's IP address was identified as serving Moss's Philadelphia residence.

Agents, along with officers from the Philadelphia Police Department, executed a search of the residence and seized a computer, which forensics agents found to contain more than 36 image and video files of apparent child pornography.

Moss is charged with 15 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 held in the Philadelphia County Prison in lieu of $50,000 - 10 percent bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2014.

Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Anonymous tips can also be sent directly from a cell phone by texting PAKIDS + YOUR TIP to 847411 or through an online complaint form.