We now know the reason the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico was shut down last week and the details aren’t pretty.
FBI records obtained by Reuters show that the closure stemmed from an FBI child pornography probe.
The report states that the FBI was “investigating the activities of an individual who was utilizing the wireless internet service of the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, to download and distribute child pornography.”
The individual in question has been identified as a janitor staffed to maintain the facility, whose laptop was connected to the observatories wifi. The decision was made to shut down the observatory “out of concern that the suspect might pose a danger to other personnel.”
The group that runs the facility, AURA, has stated it is “cooperating with an on-going law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak.”
As we dive into the details, the story begins to get a bit strange:
According to gizmodo, there was a search warrant that claimed hundreds of files of child porn had been downloaded and distributed onto Sunspot’s wifi, of which only one persons activity matched. That computer was seized by the FBI, and that janitor protested his innocence claiming that other people had access to the computer.
Allegedly the janitor began to become erratic and “potentially dangerous” so the FBI made the decision to shut down the observatory for safety.
A report from a New Mexico station KRQE, states that the suspect said it’s “only a matter of time before the facility got hit,” and that he “believed there was a serial killer in the area” that may execute someone in the observatory. Ultimately, this is what may have gotten the facility shut down for the weekend.
The subject in question has yet to be named as he is not yet formally charged.
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