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

April 4, 2014

Statewide sweep leads to child pornography charges against eight Pa. men

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of eight Pennsylvania men on unrelated charges as part of a statewide sweep over the past week to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography. 

 
David Burke Sr.

 
Charles Weiher

 
Samuel Askinas

 
Edgardo Hernandez

 
Edward Campion Jr.

 
Yorgardy Leonardo

 
Justin Sells

 
Dane Blood

The defendants are identified as:

  • David Burke Sr., 60, 412 6th St., Altoona, Blair County;
  • Charles Weiher, 67, 3106 Albine Drive, Shaler, Allegheny County;
  • Samuel Askinas, 25, 258 Prospect Ave., Downingtown, Chester County;
  • Edgardo Hernandez, 22, 1911 Thayer St., Philadelphia;
  • Edward Campion Jr., 41, 405 ½ Crest Ave., Charleroi, Washington County;
  • Yorgardy Leonardo, 19, 2959 Gransback St., Philadelphia;
  • Justin Sells, 32, 83 Union Ave., Apt. 8, North Versailles, Allegheny County; and
  • Dane Blood, 30, 600 Della Drive, Apt. 1D, North Versailles, Allegheny County.

David Burke Sr.
Agents, who were 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 on April 3, 2014 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, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Altoona Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

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

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 on April 3, 2014 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. on April 10, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Shaler Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

Weiher will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Samuel Askinas
Askinas was taken into custody on April 2, 2014 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, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Downingtown Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.
 
The case will be prosecuted in Chester County by Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Elo of the Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

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, 2014 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% of the set $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

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

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, 2014 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, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Charleroi Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

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

Yorgardy Leonardo
Leonardo was arrested on April 1, 2014 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% of the set $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Philadelphia City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance.

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

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, 2014 and held in the Allegheny County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Attorney General Kane thanked the North Versailles Township Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

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

Dane Blood
Blood was taken into custody on March 31, 2014 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.

Attorney General Kane thanked the North Versailles Township Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo 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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