More details about Sunspot Observatory closure confirms child porn investigation


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News stories this morning provide further confirmation that the closure of the Sunspot Observatory in New Mexico occurred in connection with a child porn investigation. The key quote that explains why the FBI closed the facility:

The search warrant provided to a judge the justifications for agents to search computers, cellphones or tablets owned by the janitor, Joshua Lee Cope, and the house trailer where he lives. An FBI agent seized the laptop at the observatory on Aug. 21, 2018, and took it to the FBI office in Las Cruces, court documents said. FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said Thursday that no one has been charged and the investigation is ongoing.

Cope, 30, lives on property owned by his parents in La Luz, the search warrant said. A phone message left for Cope at a telephone number listed for his parents seeking comment was not immediately returned.

After Cope could not find his laptop, the court documents said, he began to act frantically and told the chief observer that there was a “serial killer in the area, and that he was fearful that the killer might enter the facility and execute someone.”

The observatory closed, without consulting FBI agents, after Cope’s comments about the serial killer and his erratic behavior, the warrant said.

My guess is that the observatory became concerned about Cope’s behavior, and closed to protect itself and its other employees, forcing everyone to leave. This also explains the cryptic nature of their closure announcement, as they also did not want to implicate anyone and risk a lawsuit.

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5 comments

  • Robert Pratt

    Sounds like a beefing up of a weak cover story.

  • Orion314

    re: “Sounds like a beefing up of a weak cover story.”
    Amen , the story stinks like Hillary’s depends….

  • Col Beausabre

    Yeah, The FBI arrives via a Blackhawk Helicopter – which can carry a fully equipped squad of infantry (10 men). Instead of just sending a coupla guys in a car, they’ve gotta come on like Blue Thunder? Over a kiddie porn case? If nothing else somebody should be called out on the money wasted, just compare the govts generous mileage payment versus flying a copter. And how does a janitor know there’s a “serial killer in the area”? It’s BS, just pure unadulterated BS.

  • Steve Cooper

    A serial killer threat, or a child porn case and they wouldn’t tell the sheriff what was going on?

  • Don

    The FBI sent militarized agents with a Black Hawk helicopter to evacuate and secure this observatory(without notice) for nearly 2 weeks without giving anybody an explanation, and when they finally did they said it was because some guy was trading CP over the observatory’s wifi? Is that the story they’re sticking with?

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