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Computers seized in drug probe lead to Radford professor's child porn charges
Taj Mahon-Haft, who recently was charged with drug offense, was arrested today on 24 counts of possession of child pornography.
Taj Alexander Mahon-Haft
Thursday, March 21, 2013
A Radford University criminal justice professor recently charged with drug offenses has been arrested on child pornography charges, according to a police news release.
Taj Mahon-Haft, 34, of Radford was arrested at his home Thursday on 24 counts of possession of child pornography. At the time, he was free on a $5,000 unsecured bond related to drug possession charges handed down by a grand jury on March 8.
The images that led to the possession of child pornography charges were found on computers seized by police under a search warrant stemming from the drug investigation, the news release said.
Mahon-Haft was being held Thursday at the New River Valley Regional Jail on a $10,000 secured bond, according to the release.
Mahon-Haft is scheduled to be in court April 12 to face three counts of possession of a Schedule I controlled substance and one count of possession of marijuana.
On Monday, university officials suspended Mahon-Haft — who teaches criminal justice courses and a seminar titled “War on Drugs” — from the classroom because of the drug charges.
Mahon-Haft’s troubles began in December, when one of his neighbors summoned police to investigate an open side door at Mahon-Haft’s home.
According to a search warrant filed in Radford Circuit Court on Dec. 22, an officer responded to a residence in the 2000 block of Third Street to check on a potential burglary, found the open door and entered the house.
Upon entering a room upstairs, the officer found a “green leafy plant-like material, a multicolored smoking device, a mirror, a rolled up dollar bill, a razor and a white powdery substance in a line as in preparation for consumption,” according to the warrant.
The officer did not make contact with any suspect at that time. Police later returned to the residence with the search warrant.
According to Thursday’s news release, additional search warrants were obtained to examine computers seized as part of the drug investigation. During those examinations, images of child pornography were found on the computers by the Virginia State Police High Tech Crimes Division, the release said.
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