Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

March 7, 2014

Ongoing child pornography investigation leads to arrests of five Pa. men

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of five Pennsylvania men on unrelated charges as part of ongoing efforts to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography.

The defendants are identified as:

  • Jeffrey Pearson, 41, 112 Olive Drive, Trafford, Westmoreland County;
  • William Tardella, 67, 181 VanAuken Road, Milford, Pike County;
  • Garan Harrington, 33, 418 Main St., Apt. 3, Watsontown, Northumberland County;
  • Joe Barclay, 59, 18 ½ South Grant St., Waynesboro, Franklin County; and
  • Evan Lawbaugh, 30, 210 Homewood Ave., Waynesboro, Franklin County.

Jeffrey Pearson 

 
Jeffrey Pearson

According to the criminal complaint, agents conducting an online investigation discovered several files containing suspected child pornography allegedly downloaded to Pearson's computer.

Agents executed a search warrant at Pearson's Trafford residence and seized a laptop computer, which was previewed by forensic examiners and allegedly contained at least 50 video files and more than 100 images of suspected child pornography. The items will be analyzed further by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Pearson was taken into custody on Feb. 28, 2014 and charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography, six counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.  He was preliminarily arraigned and transported to the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $75,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 29, 2014 at 10 a.m. before Harrison City Magisterial District Judge Helen Kistler.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Penn Township Police Department for its assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Westmoreland County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

William Tardella

 
William Tardella

The charges state that agents conducting an undercover investigation into the online sharing of child pornography identified a computer sharing numerous files that contained suspected child pornography.

Agents determined that the files, which depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses, were allegedly being shared from Tardella's computer. A search of Tardella's Milford residence resulted in the seizure of a desktop computer and a laptop, which were previewed by forensic examiners. The desktop allegedly contained more than 300,000 images and videos depicting child pornography.

Tardella was arrested on March 4, 2014 and charged with 300 counts of possession of child pornography, 30 counts of distributing child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was preliminarily arraigned and held in the Pike County Prison in lieu of $200,000 percentage cash bail.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 26, 2014.

The case will be prosecuted in Pike County by Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Elo of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police at Blooming Grove and the Pennsylvania State Police Northeast Computer Crime Task Force for their assistance with the investigation.

Garan Harrington 

 
Garan Harrington

Harrington was arrested on March 5, 2014 following an investigation into the illegal sharing of child pornography. Agents executed a search of Harrington's Watsontown apartment and seized two laptops and other electronic media, which will be further analyzed by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Harrington is charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was preliminarily arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael Diehl, who set bail at $150,000 cash. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 12, 2014.

The case will be prosecuted in Northumberland County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Joe Barclay

 
Joe Barclay

Barclay was arrested on March 6, 2014 following an undercover investigation into the online sharing of child pornography. According to the criminal complaint, agents located a number of files that contained extremely graphic images of children, under the age of 18, engaged in sexually explicit acts.

Agents executed a search warrant at Barclay's Waynesboro residence and seized varous computers and other electronic media. A preliminary review of the items by forensic examiners revealed at least 15 video files allegedly containing child pornography and suspected child pornographic images on a cellular phone.

Barclay is charged with 15 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 preliminarily arraigned and held in the Franklin County Prison in lieu of $300,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 18, 2014.
 
The case will be prosecuted in Franklin County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section. 

Evan Lawbaugh

 
Evan Lawbaugh



Lawbaugh was arrested on March 6, 2014 following a two-month investigation into the online distribution of child pornography. The charges state that agents executed a search at Lawbaugh's Waynesboro residence and seized a laptop computer and three thumb drives.

Forensic examiners located at least 15 files of suspected child pornography during a preliminary review of the laptop. The items will be reviewed further by the Attorney General's Computer Forensics unit as part of an ongoing investigation.

Lawbaugh 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 preliminarily arraigned on March 6, 2014 and held in the Franklin County Prison in lieu of $300,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 18, 2014. Lawbaugh will be prosecuted in Franklin County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Reporting Internet Predators

Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General's Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Internet safety tips are available on the "Operation Safe Surf" section of www.attorneygeneral.gov. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations should contact the Attorney General's Education and Outreach Unit at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at education@attorneygeneral.gov.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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