Google assisted on an arrest in Montgomery County for a suspect who allegedly uploaded an image police believe to be child pornography to his personal email account.
Russell Gellman, of Abington, allegedly uploaded a photo that he allegedly later told police he believed to "probably" be an underage girl having intercourse, according to the criminal complaint filed by an Abington detective working with the county's cyber crimes unit.
The cyber trail leading up to the charges filed this week against Gellman began in February when Google reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a possible image of child pornography was uploaded to an email account, TheGreatFunzo@gmail.com.
A secondary email associated with that gmail account was email@example.com, Google told the NCMEC, which in turn passed along the tip to Abington police in March.
Abington Detective Rick Beaghley, who is assigned to the county's cyber crime unit, said in the criminal complaint that "based on my training and experience, the image depicts a child under the age of eighteen years old engaged in a sexual act."
Beaghley checked on the IP address that Google provided as part of its initial tip. After determining through "a check of publicly available records" that the IP address was assigned to Comcast Cable Communications Inc., Beaghley said he then secured a subpoena directing Comcast to identify their subscriber who used that IP address at the time of the alleged upload to the gmail account.
It was traced to Gellman's residence on Penn Avenue in the Glenside section of Abington, the complaint said. Beaghley said state records showed a 2003 BMW registered to Gellman with the license plate "FUNZO."
On May 26, police searched Gellman's home and seized an iPad, which Gellman later allegedly confessed to using to access two images of children pornography.
It remains unclear how exactly Gellman came into possession of the image. Beaghley was not immediately available for comment.
A press release by the Montgomery County District Attorney's office reiterated what the complaint alleged: "The tip indicated that an image of child pornography depicting a prepubescent female child, approximately 10 years old, having sexual intercourse with a man, was uploaded to a computer email address."
Gellman was charged with distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication device, all felonies.
He was released on $50,000 bail and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with children and no internet usage. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27.