Philly men nabbed in child porn sweep

Philadelphia men Edgardo Hernandez, 22 (left), and Yorgardy Leonardo, 19, are accused of possessing child pornography.

Two Philadelphia men were among eight suspects arrested this week during a statewide child pornography sweep, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Friday.

Edgardo Hernandez, 22, of the 1900 block of Thayer Street in Harrowgate, and Yorgardy Leonardo, 19, of the 2900 block of Gransback Street in Kensington, were both taken into custody Tuesday.

According to a criminal complaint, agents conducting an online investigation into child pornography uncovered files available for download that depicted juveniles engaged in graphic sexual acts and poses. The computer’s IP address allegedly led investigators to Hernandez.

Prosecutors said undercover agents also traced suspected child pornography being shared online to Leonardo’s IP address.

Investigators executed search warrants at both men’s homes and seized their computers.

Both Hernandez and Leonardo are charged with distributing and possessing child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility.

Both suspects were released from jail after posting 10 percent of $25,000 bail. Each man is next due in court April 17 for a preliminary hearing.

Police also took into custody 25-year-old Samuel Askinas, of Downington, who allegedly used at least two online programs to search for “preteen hardcore” pornography.

Prosecutors said a search of Askinas’ computer turned up about 100 child pornography videos, as well as nearly 700 more videos that were in the process of downloading.

In addition, the sting resulted in the arrests of David Burke Sr., 60, of Altoona; Charles Weiher, 67, of Shaler; Edward Campion Jr., 41, of Charleroi; Justin Sells, 32, of North Versailles and Dane Blood, 30, also of North Versailles.

Each suspect is charged with multiple counts of possessing child pornography and related offenses.

Suspected Internet predators in Pennsylvania can be reported to the attorney general by calling the child predator hotline at 1-800-385-1044.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.