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Shamokin man charged with child pornography
[June 11, 2010]

Shamokin man charged with child pornography


SHAMOKIN, Jun 11, 2010 (The News-Item - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Shamokin man was charged with child pornography after being caught in an undercover operation by state police and using a relative's wireless connection to download the movies.



Justin M. Wyland, 24, of 1021 E. Packer St., Shamokin, was arraigned Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones of Mount Carmel on charges of possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility. He was released after posting $30,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing was set for July 6 before Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III of Shamokin.

According to court documents filed by Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Thomas Trusal, he received a referral from Cpl. John Stepansky of the state police's computer crimes unit on March 1. On Feb. 21, Stepansky was conducting online undercover investigations using the Gnutella peer-to-peer file sharing network and observed someone using it to distribute child photography.


Police were able to browse the suspected computer and found that the suspected user was sharing 15 different illicit files. Stepansky was familiar with several of them, and knew the files were pornographic movies featuring children. The trooper was unable to download the file onto the computer being used for the undercover investigation, but the affidavit of probable cause states Stepansky knew with certainty that the person sharing the file had it completely downloaded and present on the computer that was sharing the file.

Police got a court order for the Internet provider and found the subscriber of that Internet protocol address to be a homeowner on Packer Street, Shamokin. A female living there said she didn't know anything about the files and that neither she or her husband downloaded it. With her permission, police searched her computer and found no evidence of child pornography.

The female then told police that her husband's two cousins live next door and are allowed to use their Internet service via a wireless connection. Police then went to the adjacent home and spoke with Justin Wyland and another relative. The two gave verbal consent for the police examine their computer.

Police found numerous movie files with child pornography-related file names. The trooper viewed two of the files and found they both contained child pornography.

The computer was seized and a search warrant was obtained from on-call District Judge Edward G. Mihalik Jr. of Selinsgrove on June 3. The search on Wyland's computer found the 15 movie files discovered earlier and a few more for a total of 27 files. The different movie files featured both boys and girls, all under the age of 14. Police say that during an interview with Wyland, he admitted to knowingly downloading the movies for some time, from Christmas until the time of the interview, using search terms such as, "preteen," "10" or "10 years old" and "lolita." Sign up for Text Alerts Sign up for e-mail newsletters To see more of The News-Item or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.newsitem.com. Copyright (c) 2010, The News-Item, Shamokin, Pa.

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