A Venice man facing child pornography charges hid his laptop under dirty clothes in a clothes hamper and claimed to be having a heart attack when deputies arrived to search his home, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Edward McManis, 49, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with 40 counts of possession of child pornography. He is being held without bond at the Sarasota County jail.
The investigation of McManis began when undercover detectives identified an IP address — later traced to McManis — that was used to download and was in possession of 107 files previously identified as containing child pornography by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children between Dec. 31 and Tuesday, according to a probable cause affidavit.
During the investigation, detectives say they were able to download child pornography from McManis on seven different occasions, most recently in the early morning hours Tuesday.
Just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, McManis was sleeping when deputies were allowed into his home in the 2600 block of Gentian Road in Venice by his roommate, according to the report. But when deputies attempted to speak with McManis, he alleged he was having a heart attack so he was taken to Venice Hospital.
Meanwhile deputies and detectives, having already obtained a search warrant, conducted a preliminary scan of McManis’s electronic devices including his laptop — which they found under dirty clothes in a clothes hamper, according to the report. The preliminary scan contained multiple videos and images depicting child pornography.
Additional charges are pending a complete forensic examination of McManis’s devices.
During an audio recorded interview, McManis claimed he had never touched a child, detectives reported. McManis’ answer to being questioned if his activity was limited to downloading and watching child pornography is redacted from the probable cause affidavit.