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CMU IT staffer among 5 arrested for child pornography

| Friday, May 1, 2015, 4:09 p.m.

A Carnegie Mellon University IT staffer was among five men arrested Friday by the attorney general's office on child pornography charges.

Eric Jermaine Irson, 40, of Pleasant Hills was charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communications facility.

According to CMU's staff directory, Irson is an IT support associate. A spokeswoman for the university said he is not a professor.

The arrests resulted from separate investigations by the attorney general's child predator section, according to a statement released by Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

According to the release, agents conducted an online investigation to identify those suspected of using a peer-to-peer file sharing network to possess and share child pornography.

Investigators used the IP address associated with Irson's computer to identify him and obtain a search warrant for Irson's electronics. Police said a preliminary review uncovered numerous images of suspected child pornography. The investigation is ongoing.

Also arrested were Nicholas Balzer, 42, of Pittsburgh; Christopher Croyle, 23, of Seward, Westmoreland County; Jonny Stevens, 42, of Linesville, Crawford County; and Brandon Hannold, 30, of Guys Mills, Crawford County.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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