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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Local Business Owner Facing Federal Charges After Selling Device on Ebay Loaded With Child Porn

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Robert_Pullan.jpg

The owner of a Cleveland Heights home contracting business was indicted on child pornography possession and distribution charges in federal court on Monday selling, on Ebay, a media streaming device loaded up with videos and images he thought he wiped clean.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit for Robert B. Pullan, the investigation began in January after a North Ridgeville couple reported to police the unit they just spent $50 on to stream movies from their computer to their TV (a "Popcorn Media Streamer") came preloaded with suspiciously-named files that weren't supposed to be there, like "girl 8 y.o." and others. They gave the police the Ebay receipt, too, listing the easily-identifiable email address of the seller.

A web search of email address went to the site for Heights Enterprises — a local home repair contractor — and its owner Robert B. Pullan, 66, listing his picture and work history. The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found 42 videos and 35 images of suspected child pornography on it.

In April, according to the affidavit, law enforcement went to Pullan's Cleveland home with a search warrant, where he confirmed that he sold the unit on Ebay and thought he had wiped the hard drive clean before he did. When asked if he previously used it to look at child porn, Pullan apparently nodded yes. The search warrant revealed an external hard drive and a case with 35 CD's and DVD's full of more child porn.

Pullan was officially arrested on May and indicted yesterday on one count of receiving and distributing child pornography by computer from 2004-2014, and one count of possessing child pornography on "numerous hard drives and computer disks."

Pullan and his company were prominently featured in a 2011 Plain Dealer story about "Choosing the best flooring for your basement" ("It's not unusual for linoleum to adhere to some spots and not in others because of moisture," said Pullan"). His Ebay profile shows he's only been given positive feedback as a buyer and seller; people apparently like his fast responses and quick payments.

Read Pullan's arrest affidavit for more on the case (redactions by Scene):

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