North Versailles man held for court on child pornography charges
A North Versailles Township man will be tried on child pornography charges.
Senior Magisterial District Judge Robert L. Barner held Dane Adrian Blood, 30, for trial on 21 felony counts, including 20 of possessing child pornography and one of criminal use of a home computer.
Blood was arrested on March 31 by agents from state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's office.
He was one of eight men arrested at that time, all in unrelated cases, as part of a statewide sweep targeting the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography.
A computer forensics examiner for Kane's office said he found more than 50 pornographic images on Blood's computer after agents seized it.
“I previewed the first 12,” said special agent Tim Haney, one of two agents to testify before Barner.
Haney and agent Philip Larcinese said six still images and a video found on the computer had been intercepted by Chelsy Santoro, another agent in Kane's office.
They said Santoro found Shareaza software had been used to obtain those images. Shareaza is described by sourceforge.net as a universal peer-to-peer file sharing client for Windows.
Larcinese testified that the computer was identified as being at Blood's home from its Internet Protocol or IP address after a court order was issued to Comcast for subscriber information.
Deputy Attorney General Courtney Butterfield prosecuted Blood's case.
Assistant public defender George Saba said he would reserve his arguments for court but attempted to set groundwork for reasonable doubt that Blood was the only user of that computer.
“There were no other identifying artifacts found other than Mr. Blood's” in the “my document” files of that computer, Haney testified.
Under cross-examination, Larcinese said it was possible that multiple devices might be linked to the IP address.
Larcinese testified that Blood had one roommate who left “weeks before” the investigation zeroed in on Blood.
Larcinese said Blood had a new roommate at the time of the raid. Under cross-examination he said that second roommate “had been forensically examined and cleared.”
Haney's qualifications were questioned.
He told Saba he had no college degree in computer programming but had been interested in computers since building a Heathkit in 1974. He said he had “specialized training” throughout 17 years as a computer forensics engineer, first with the Allegheny County Police and then with Kane's office for the past year and a half.
Blood was returned to Allegheny County Jail where he is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond, pending a formal arraignment on June 19. Saba made no attempt to reduce Blood's bond.
Blood was arrested along with Justin Thomas Sells, 32, of North Versailles; Charles Weiher, 67, of Shaler Township; Edward Campion Jr., 41, of Charleroi; David Burke Sr., 60, of Altoona; Samuel Askinas, 25, of Downingtown, Chester County; and Edgardo Hernandez, 22, and Leonardo Yorgardy, 19, both of Philadelphia.
All await multiple felony counts. Sells waived 11 counts to trial before Barner on April 10 and his bond was reduced to nonmonetary pending a June 5 formal arraignment in Pittsburgh.
Weiher was arraigned on April 3 before Senior Magisterial District Judge Pat A. Capolupo on 14 counts and is in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a May 29 hearing before Magisterial District Judge Robert Paul Dzvonick in Shaler.
Campion waived 22 counts to trial on April 21 but his bond was increased by Charleroi Magisterial District Judge Larry W. Hopkins from $100,000 to $250,000 and he remains in Washington County Jail.
Burke waived seven counts to trial and has been released from Blair County Jail on $1,000 bond; Askinas is free on $75,000 pending a May 14 preliminary hearing on 52 counts in Chester County; Hernandez was held for trial on two counts on April 24 and is free on $2,500 bond; and Yorgardy is free on $2,500 bond pending a June 12 preliminary hearing on six counts.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.