Allegheny County man arrested for distribution of child pornography

Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson

(Supplied Image)

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kane today announced that four more men in Pennsylvania have been arrested for using peer-to-peer networks to distribute graphic child pornography including one man from Allegheny County.

“We are using sophisticated technology to keep up with the constantly evolving methods child predators are using to exploit children,” Attorney General Kane said. “Predators may think that they are anonymous online, but we are watching.”

Attorney General Kane has prioritized child predator investigations, and expanded the Child Predator Section’s staffing and equipment. Since Attorney General Kane took office, the section has arrested 278 child predators.

Mark Robinson, 33, 611 Calais Drive, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County was recently arrested by the Child Predator Section. After determining that a user on a peer-to-peer network was sharing child pornography from Robinson’s I.P. address, agents executed a search warrant at Robinson’s residence in Allegheny County. While executing the warrant, a desktop computer was examined by forensic agents. During the preview of the computer, more than 200 files in various formats with file names indicative of child pornography were found. According to the investigators, this was just a sample of the amount of child pornography allegedly on the computer.

Robinson is charged with five counts of distribution of child pornography, four counts of possession of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Robinson was preliminary arraigned with bond set at $50,000 cash, which he did not post. He later waived his preliminary hearing. The case will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Section. Attorney General Kane thanked the McCandless Township Police Department, Ross Township Police Department and Northwest Regional Police Department for assisting with the arrest.


Upper Burrell crash – Freezing rain in AK Valley tests driver skills

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:29 am

Upper Burrell, Pa. – Freezing rain in the Alle-Kiski Valley and beyond is causing multiple vehicle crashes and blocked roadways as rescue crews help the injured.

In Upper Burrell near Camp JoAnn, SR. 366 east was closed near the Bigfoot Truck store where the two-lane roadway meets the four lane start of the highway. It appeared the transition from pavement to concrete sparked two separate crashes sending one female driver to Forbes Regional Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Authorities at the scene said the SUV traveling east hit a sheet of ice and spun on the roadway hitting guiderails. Initial reports were for possible entrapment and rollover. Motorists had to wait it out in stalled traffic as two EMS crews from Vandergrift treated one patient at the scene in preparation for transport to the hospital. Firefighters from Sardis and EMS from Vandergrift assisted Upper Burrell Police at the scene. Kinloch Station #54 Rescue were dispatched to the scene but later were advised to return to station.

Scene of fatal house fire on Beahm Crest Lane near Evans City

Scene of fatal house fire on Beahm Crest Lane near Evans City

In overnight news: SR. 422 between Kittanning and Butler was a sheet of ice in many areas. AKVNEWS.COM contacted Kittanning State Police and advised of road conditions around 11:55 pm Thursday night while on way to a fatal house fire near Evans City. Further up the road on Interstate 79 Northbound, multiple vehicle crashes, sometimes as many as six vehicles littered the median strip near the 94 mile marker on I 79. At the 102 mile marker, heavy damage to a tractor-trailer that rolled over several times spilling a full load of drywall deep into the median.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

While most drivers on the Interstate were traveling under 40 miles per hours, several tractor-trailers and cars ignored flashing lights and flares warning of dangerous road conditions. State Police were busy in at least 6 different areas in a twenty mile stretch on I79.

The latest weather alert is as follows: Special Statement
Statement as of 8:31 AM EST on December 19, 2014
…Patchy freezing drizzle this morning…

Patchy freezing drizzle will cause slick spots on untreated roads and sidewalks into late morning…before ending. Motorists should use extra caution.


House fire on Water Street in Kittanning a total loss

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:59 pm

Kittanning, Pa. – Multiple fire departments in Kittanning responded to a house fire in the 700 block of Water Street just after 7:20 pm Thursday Evening.

Kittanning Fire Chief Scott Kline of Hose Company #6 said when fire crews arrived on scene there was heavy fire involvement into the first floor and the back end of the house. The family of three, a mom and two children were home at the time and called 911. Chief Kline said the family exited the structure without injury.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer

A quick response by firefighters from Northern District of Kittanning, Kittanning Borough and a RIT team from Rayburn Township prevented spreading of the fire and limited damage to just one home. The cause of the fire is under investigation by a municipal fire marshal however the State Police Fire Marshal will visit the scene on Friday morning. The American Red Cross was on scene to help the victims. Firefighters cleared the scene by 9:52 pm. Kittanning EMS assisted at the fire scene.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Structure fire minor in Ford City

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 10:36 pm

Ford City, Pa. – Fire crews from Ford City, Ford Cliff, and Kittanning responded to a minor structure fire in Ford City about 2:30 pm Thursday afternoon.

Bill Oleksak, Ford City Assistant Fire Chief said there were initial reports of smoke showing when engines rolled on scene in the 400 block of 4th Avenue. Firefighters made an interior attack and found a small fire on the third floor which they quickly extinguished.

Chief Oleksak said the cause of the fire is unknown and the structure was not occupied at the time. A local fire marshal was called to investigate the cause.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Head-on crash in Lower Burrell, one injured

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 7:25 pm

Lower Burrell, Pa. – One man is injured in a head-on collision on Wildlife Lodge Road about 11:30 am Thursday Morning.

Lower Burrell Police closed off the busy roadway after a red Ford Focus appeared to have crossed the center line impacting a Chevy Silverado nearly head-on injuring the driver of the Focus. The driver of the Focus was transported to the hospital while the driver of the truck did not appear injured. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Lower Burrell Station #69 volunteer firefighters responded to the scene for traffic control and cleanup of heavy roadway debris and oils.

Salem’s Auto Body towed the vehicles from the crash scene.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Ford City man dies after vehicle rollover

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Armstrong County, Pa. – An Armstrong County man dies in a single vehicle crash early Thursday morning.

Armstrong County Coroner Brian Myers reports that Robert P. Sweet, Jr., 46 of Burrell Twp., Ford City was traveling East on Cochran’s Mills Rd. when he lost control of his 1998 Ford Expedition for an unknown reason. Sweet’s vehicle struck a tree stump and rolled twice, coming to a stop 150 feet from where his vehicle left the roadway. Sweet was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Brian K. Myers. The victim was not wearing a seatbelt and alcohol is believed to be a factor. An autopsy will not be performed. The cause of death was Blunt Force Trauma to the Head, Chest and Abdomen.

The investigation is ongoing by Trooper Gambone of the Pennsylvania State Police. The coroner’s office was assisted at the scene by Burrell FD, Ford City FD, PSP and Ford City Ambulance.


Armed robbery at Arnold STOP-N-GO

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 1:13 am

Arnold, Pa. – An armed robbery occurred at the Stop-N-Go in Arnold on Constitution Boulevard around 9:35 pm Wednesday evening.

Sergeant Marcia Cole of the Arnold Police Department said three light-skinned black males all showed guns in the holdup of the Stop-N-Go. The three males were wearing a white mesh over their faces and are described as follows: one male wearing a gray hoody with gray sweat pants, one male wearing all black clothing with white letters down the sleeve, and the third male wearing a two-tone jacket and dark jeans. A person of interest in this incident was wearing a Blue and White coat on a bicycle similar to a black BMX.

One weapon was recovered by police and Sergeant Cole said the suspects fled towards the 1600 block of Proctor Alley. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Arnold Police at (724) 339-9663 or Westmoreland 911.


State Farm supports teen drivers with $25,000 grant

(Submitted Photo)

Allegheny Township, Pa. – Thanks to thousands of safe driver commitments made in support of Kiski Area High School through the Celebrate My Drive® program created by State Farm Insurance, Agent Mary Jo Riddle presented Kiski Area High School with a $25,000 grant to show support for teen drivers, helping them stay safe as they embark on the road ahead.

Kiski Area High School is one of 100 schools across North America to receive a grant ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. In addition to collecting safe driving commitments, the Celebrate My Drive program recognizes a very important and joyous occasion in the life of young people – learning to drive!

Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, and a teen’s first year on the road is the most dangerous. To stimulate more safe driving conversations, State Farm specified that 10 percent of these funds be used to support ongoing teen driver safety efforts.

(Submitted Photo)

State Farm believes Celebrate My Drive is an effective tool to amplify the conversation around the importance of education related to teen driver safety. Community members throughout the U.S. and Canada joined more than 4,500 participating State Farm agents in making more than 6 million safe driving commitments during Celebrate My Drive® Oct. 15-24, which coincided with National Teen Driver safety week.

Celebrate My Drive encourages young drivers to think 2N2®: 2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel. For every commitment made, participants answered two safe driving questions before committing to drive safely. It is a strategy designed to emphasize positive driving behaviors and build confidence in young drivers. The presentation took place on Friday, December 12, 2014.


New charges filed against Dr. David Wait in diversion case

(AG Photo)

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced her office has filed new charges against a mid-state doctor, who in just six months allegedly prescribed 102,000 oxycodone pills to people not under his care in exchange for cash.

Dr. David Wait, 55, will be transferred from Cumberland County Prison to Dauphin County Prison and faces additional charges for illegally writing prescriptions for oxycodone, OxyContin, hydromorphone, Morphine and Fentanyl, a vast majority of which were filled in Dauphin County.

Evidence and testimony regarding Dr. Wait’s alleged diversion of prescription painkillers was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.

According to the grand jury, Dr. Wait sold prescriptions of mostly oxycodone, a highly-addictive narcotic law enforcement believe to be a gateway to heroin addiction, in exchange for cash in locations throughout Dauphin, Cumberland and York counties. Dr. Wait believed if the people to whom he sold prescriptions made money off them, he should too, according to the presentment.

Attorney General Kane noted Pennsylvania has the 7th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States. She said prescription drug and related-heroin abuse reaches across all ages, demographics and geographic areas.

Dr. Wait is charged with 13 counts of unlawful prescription of a controlled substance by a practitioner, one count of corrupt organizations, one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

The case will be prosecuted in Dauphin County by Deputy Attorney General Bob Smulktis of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police, DEA and Cumberland County Drug Task Force for their assistance with the investigation.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)


Vehicle crashes into parts store in Allegheny Township

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Allegheny Township, Pa. – Police and fire departments were dispatched for a vehicle into the Auto Zone auto parts building about 9:10 pm Monday evening in the Hyde Park Plaza, Allegheny Township. It appeared merchandise was knocked from the wall inside the heavily damaged building.

Police Chief John Fontaine said the owner of the vehicle is a male driver who is being interviewed concerning this incident. Fire crews cleaned up oils and debris from the crash scene. Allegheny Township VFD, Markle VFD, Township Fire Police and Lower Kiski EMS assisted police at the scene. Kochka & Son Towing removed a heavily damaged Jeep from the parking lot adjacent to the store.

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer


Female robbed in Arnold

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer 12:27 am

Arnold, Pa. – Police Sergeant Mike Krahe said a female in here late 20’s was robbed of $30 outside the Arnold Tower at 7:20 pm Monday evening. The actor tried to pull out heading North on Horne Boulevard but was blocked and was forced to back up to 14th Street and head west to escape.

Police said the known actor was driving a White Honda and is still at large.


“Taking Back Our Community” in Apollo

© Hotshot Images by AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Staff Photographer (Stock Image)

Apollo, Pa. – Jeff Held, Mayor of Apollo Borough recently announced a “Taking Back Our Community” program that will be held on Monday, December 15th @ 6:00 pm in Apollo #2 VFD at North 4th Street and N Pennsylvania Avenue.

This event will serve as a great kickoff to our effort and can also serve as a recruitment tool prior to our first meeting that we are looking to hold in early February, said Mayor Held.

The “Taking Back Our Community” program is an effort by the Armstrong County Coroner, The Armstrong County Sheriff and a number of speakers including the Armstrong County District Attorney, Local Magistrates, Medical Personnel, Rehabilitation Specialists and Advocates for Witnesses and Victims!

I realize this is on short notice, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity that presented itself said Held. Residents are urged to make every effort to not only attend but to “recruit” others in your circle. The more we have, the better kickoff to our long-term success.