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Authorities arrest 8 men in child predator sting

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Carlos Bendeck, Maurice Brown and Darby Conover

 

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator unit arrested eight men on unrelated charges as part of ongoing efforts to target the online sharing, downloading and distribution of child pornography. The arrests happened over the past week in counties throughout the state including, Dauphin, Erie, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Monroe, Philadelphia and Warren.

The following men were arrested in the sting:

  • Carlos Bendeck, 44, Scranton, Lackawanna County;
  • Maurice Brown, 53, Harrisburg, Dauphin County;
  • Raymond Ellis, 81, Philadelphia;
  • Richard Moyer Jr., 53, Denver, Lancaster County;
  • John O’Harra, 42, Hillsdale, Indiana County;
  • Robert Kutzler, 61, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County;
  • Christian Imperial, 19, Warren, Warren County; and
  • Darby Conover, 45, Erie.

Carlos Bendeck
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 Bendeck’s Lackawanna County residence.

A search of Bendeck’s apartment uncovered a laptop computer, which was previewed by agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Computer Forensics Unit and found to contain suspected child pornography.

Bendeck was arrested on Thursday, July 10, 2014, and charged with one count of distribution of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Lackawanna County Detectives, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Scranton and the Scranton Police Department for their assistance with the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Lackawanna County by Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Elo of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Maurice Brown
According to the criminal complaint, Brown 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 Brown’s Harrisburg residence as the source through the computer’s IP address.

A search of Brown’s home resulted in the seizure of a laptop computer and a computer tower that forensic agents found to contain video and image files of suspected child pornography.

Brown was taken into custody by agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. He is charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography, 12 counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was held in the Dauphin County prison in lieu of $25,000 bail. The case will be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police and the Susquehanna Township Police Department for their cooperation and assistance with the investigation.

Raymond Ellis
The charges state that agents conducting an undercover investigation successfully downloaded two files that were being made available on a peer-to-peer network. 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 Ellis’s computer.

A search of Ellis’s Philadelphia apartment resulted in the seizure of a computer, which at the time of the search was on and allegedly actively downloading and uploading child pornography through a file sharing program.

Ellis was arrested on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, and charged with 10 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 held in the Philadelphia County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail – 10 percent. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 24, 2014.

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

Richard Moyer Jr.
Richard Moyer Jr. was arrested on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, following an undercover investigation into the dissemination of child pornography. Agents, who were conducting an online investigation, identified a computer on a peer-to-peer network sharing media files believed to depict child pornography.

According to the criminal complaint, agents successfully downloaded one of those files, which depicted 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 Moyer’s Lancaster County residence.

Agents, along with members of the East Cocalico Police Department, executed a search of the home and seized a desktop computer, which was found to contain suspected child pornography.

Moyer Jr. 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 held in the Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $75,000 straight bail. The case will be prosecuted in Lancaster County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Attorney General Kane thanked the East Cocalico Police Department for its assistance with the investigation.

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Raymond Ellis, Robert Kutzler and Christian Imperial

John O’Harra
According to the criminal complaint, agents located several files, which contained suspected child pornography, being made available for download through a peer-to-peer network. The computer’s IP address was later identified as serving O’Harra’s Indiana County apartment.

During a search of O’Harra’s residence, agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section and troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police seized a laptop computer, which allegedly contained suspected child pornography.

O’Harra was taken into custody on Tuesday, July 8, 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. He was preliminarily arraigned and held in the Indiana County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 22, 2014.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police for its assistance with the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Indiana County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

Robert Kutzler
According to the criminal complaint, agents successfully downloaded a file that depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses from a computer that was using a peer-to-peer network to share child pornography. Investigators were able to track the computer’s IP address and identified Kutzler’s computer as the source for the graphic files.

A search of Kutzler’s East Stroudsburg residence resulted in the seizure of a computer, which revealed suspected child pornography after a preliminary review by computer forensics agents.

Kutzler was taken into custody on Friday, July 4, 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. He was held in the Monroe County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail – 10 percent. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2014.

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

Christian Imperial
Imperial was arrested in Warren County on Thursday, July 3, 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 following a three-month investigation into the online sharing and distribution of child pornography.

According to the criminal complaint, agents successfully downloaded media files that depicted children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses. The computer’s IP address was identified as serving Imperial’s Warren County residence.

Agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section, along with officers from the Warren City Police Department executed a search of Imperial’s residence and seized a desktop computer, which was previewed by forensics agents. The computer allegedly contained two hard drives, which contained hundreds of files of apparent child pornography.

Imperial was held in the Warren County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bond and waived his preliminary hearing.

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

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Richard Moyer Jr. and John O’Harra

Darby Conover
According to the criminal complaint, Conover 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 through the computer’s IP address were able to identify Conover’s Erie residence as the source for the graphic images.

A search of Conover’s home by agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section and officers from the Millcreek Township Police Department resulted in the seizure of a desktop computer. Forensic examiners found thousands of files containing suspected child pornography on the computer.

Conover was taken into custody on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, and charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, four counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

He was held in the Erie County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2014. The case will be prosecuted in Erie County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section.

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

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.

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