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

May 15, 2014

Child Predator Section nets five men on unrelated child pornography charges

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:

  • Michael Hadam, 59, 515 Indiana Ave., Glassport, Allegheny County;
  • Joseph Bailey, 42, 2681 Carnegie Road, Apt. 103, York, York County;
  • Bryan Zaharko, 32, 904 Bockstoce Ave., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County;
  • Christopher Blackwell, 32, 1228 Veto St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County; and
  • Matthew Cooper, 25, 160 Paris Colliers Road, Burgettstown, Washington County.

Michael Hadam
Agents from the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section along with officers from the Glassport Police Department arrested Hadam on Thursday, May 15, 2014, following an online investigation into the distribution of child pornography.

 5-15-14 Michael Hadam
Michael Hadam

According to the criminal complaint, agents who were conducting an undercover investigation successfully downloaded numerous files, which depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses. Agents were able to track the computer's IP address and identified Hadam's computer as the source for the graphic files.

Agents executed a search of Hadam's Glassport residence and seized a number of electronic media devices. Upon initial viewing of an external hard drive, agents from the Office of Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit found more than half a million files containing suspected child pornography, including images of children as young as infants in various stages of undress.

Hadam is charged with 30 counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He will be preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Armand Martin later today.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Glassport Police Department for its assistance with the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Joseph Bailey

 5-15-14 Joseph Bailey
Joseph Bailey

According to the criminal complaint, Bailey used a peer-to-peer network in order to make files - containing prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts - available for download. Agents conducting an undercover investigation successfully downloaded five of those files and identified Bailey as the source through the computer's IP address.

A search of Bailey's York apartment resulted in the seizure of multiple computers, external hard drives, cell phones and tablets. The Office of Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit previewed the devices and found 20 thumbnails of apparent child pornography. Additionally, agents seized a loaded .38 caliber handgun, which Bailey is legally prohibited from possessing.

Bailey was arrested on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, and charged with five counts of distribution of child pornography, five counts of possession of child pornography, one count of criminal use of a communication facility and one count of persons not to possess a firearm. He was held in the York County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 23, 2014.

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

Bryan Zaharko
Zaharko was arrested on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, following an investigation into the dissemination of child pornography. Agents, who were conducting an online investigation, identified a computer on a peer-to-peer network sharing numerous media files believed to depict child pornography. 

 5-15-14 Bryan Zaharko
Bryan Zaharko

According to the criminal complaint, agents successfully downloaded 17 files that depicted prepubescent children engaged in graphic sexual acts and or poses. The computer's IP address, which was allegedly making the files available, was later identified as serving Zaharko's Pittsburgh residence.

Agents from the Office of Attorney General, along with officers from the Castle Shannon Police Department executed a search of Zaharko's home and discovered a server rack of Dell servers and routers in an attached garage. Agents also located a small office, which contained multiple computer towers, a laptop, several hard drives and other media storage devices. The Office of Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit conducted a preliminary review of the items and found them to contain suspected child pornography.

Additionally, agents also recovered approximately nine grams of marijuana, a glass marijuana pipe, a digital scale and several empty baggies containing residue.

Zaharko is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, one count of possession of marijuana and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was preliminarily arraigned and held on $30,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 27, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Castle Shannon Police Department for its assistance with the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Christopher Blackwell

 5-15-14 Christopher Blackwell
Christopher Blackwell

The charges 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 Blackwell's Pittsburgh residence.

Agents, with the assistance of the City of Pittsburgh Police Department, executed a search warrant at Blackwell's home and seized several electronic devices including a computer and laptop. A thorough review by the Office of Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit found suspected child pornography, which Blackwell had allegedly attempted to delete from the devices.

Blackwell was taken into custody on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, and 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 held in Allegheny County Prison in lieu of $75,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m., May 27, 2014 in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

Attorney General Kane thanked the City of Pittsburgh Police Department for its assistance with the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Matthew Cooper

 5-15-14 Matthew Cooper
Matthew Cooper

According to the criminal complaint, Cooper 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 one of those files and identified Cooper as the source through the computer's IP address.

A search of Cooper's Hanover Township residence resulted in the seizure of two laptops, one desktop computer hard drive, a flash drive and other media storage devices. Agents from the Office of Attorney General's Computer Forensics Unit previewed the seized items and located several video and image files with names indicative of child pornography. Additionally, when agents arrived at the residence, approximately 75 different files containing suspected child pornography were allegedly in the process of being downloaded.

Cooper was arrested on May 13, 2014, and charged with 10 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 before Magisterial District Judge Gary Havelka and held on $50,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on May 22, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Hanover Township Police Department for its assistance with the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Washington County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section.

Reporting Internet Predators

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. 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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