NEWTON FALLS - A village man charged with 10 counts of pandering obscenities involving a minor pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Thursday. However, his case was bound over to a Trumbull County grand jury, which will consider the evidence for possible indictments.
Bernard Stuntebeck, 35, appeared via video arraignment in Newton Falls Municipal court, where his $100,000 bond continued. He was being held at the Trumbull County Jail as of Thursday.
Newton Falls police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation raided Stuntebeck's 329 E. Broad St. home on Monday. Agents and officers took several boxes and computers from the house.
After his arrest on Monday, Stuntebeck was immediately taken to municipal court, where Judge Philip Vigorito determined there was enough probable cause to hold him in lieu of a $100,000 bond until his arraignment in municipal court on Thursday.
Assistant Trumbull County Prosecutor Gabe Wildman said earlier this week that the FBI in Youngstown was able to pinpoint Stuntebeck's online Internet activity through an IP address. He said the search warrant for Stuntebeck's home came from a federal judge.
Stuntebeck's case is the second within the past two weeks locally centered around alleged online child pornography activities.
Last week, Ian Weddell, 33, of Cortland, was charged with five felony counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor in a separate case.
He was released from Trumbull County Jail on Monday after posting $100,000 bond. However, his case was also bound over to a a county grand jury.
Wildman explained both the BCI and FBI have specific agents locally who are assigned to investigations dealing with child pornography and work with local police agencies. BCI recently positioned a full-time supervising agency in Youngstown, to continue searching the internet.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation Crimes Against Children was put together in 2012 to track down illegal online activities.
Wildman said they "troll" the Internet for files they know contain child pornography and get the computer's IP address where it is found. Through a subpoena from the cable company, they are able to get the physical address of the computer and then, through a search warrant, remove evidence from the suspect's house.