New Mexico observatory closed in the midst of FBI child pornography investigations: documents



Sunspot Solar Observatory reopens in New Mexico

Observatory officials said that the factory was closed to cooperate with the law enforcement, who were investigating criminal activity on Sacramento Peak.

A New Mexico solar observatory re-opened Monday after an 11-day FBI investigation of a janitor who was suspected of the use of the facility of internet to download child pornography, federal court documents showed Wednesday.


The National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, abruptly closed Sept. 6 about a secret vulnerability. The lack of explanation fed conspiracy theories, given the provision in the vicinity of the Roswell – the location of an alleged UFO sighting in 1947.


An FBI official said that she was “the investigation of the activities of a person who was making use of the wireless internet service of the National Solar Observatory … download and distribute child pornography.”


Officials on Monday said the observatory does not communicate with the public during the investigation because they do not want that the accused are tipped.


“[O]ur desire to provide additional information had to be weighed against the risk that, if distributed in time, the news alert would be the accused and in the way of the judicial investigation. That was a risk we cannot take,” officials said.


The researchers determined the observatory concierge had used his laptop to connect to the décor, wireless internet access, an FBI statement said. The federal authorities obtained a warrant to search the suspect’s residence, Reuters reported, citing FBI records.


On Sept. 14, FBI agents removed three mobile phones, five laptops, an iPad, an external hard drive, and other electronic devices, of the defendant’s home, FBI data showed.


An FBI spokesman said the case is still under investigation. According to the FBI, the suspect has not been arrested or charged.


Sunspot is located in South Central New Mexico, approximately four hours drive from Albuquerque.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

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