Man arrested on child pornography charges

An Altoona man is behind bars on charges he shared child pornography over the Internet.

David E. Burke Sr., 60, of 412 Sixth St., faces seven felony counts stemming from an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office’s Child Predator Section, according to court records.

The investigation began early Oct. 31, 2013, when Special Agent Nicole L. Laudeman was able to download four suspected child pornography videos from a computer after noticing 10 files available for sharing matched known and suspected child

porn files, according to court records.

Four of the videos were under a minute in length, but one was about nine minutes long, police noted. The files depicted children engaged in various sex acts, police noted.

A court order to Verizon for the IP address led investigators to Burke, who was arrested Thursday afternoon after state investigators and the Altoona police served a search warrant at Burke’s home, police said.

The search of a Toshiba laptop and a removable flash drive allegedly turned up more child porn.

When questioned, Burke initially said he only used the computer to access Facebook and to watch video cams of people, but when asked if he ever used a file sharing program, Burke allegedly admitted he had done a search using commonly used child pornography terms.

Burke allegedly said he knew they were common terms used in the sharing of child porn files and said he wanted to see what else would come up when he used them in a search. Burke allegedly told investigators he downloaded, watched and then deleted child pornography from his computer.

Two video files were still on the laptop, according to police, and another nine files were found after police did a forensic search of the computer. Those nine files, police said, were available for sharing. The thumb drive contained what police said were numerous files consistent with child pornography.

Burke is charged with four counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. Burke remains in Blair County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail set by Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker.

A preliminary hearing is slated for April 16 at Central Court.

Burke’s arrest was one of eight made by the Attorney General’s Office this past week as part of a statewide sweep that targeted online downloading and distribution of child pornography, according to police.