UPDATED WITH POLICE INFORMATION: Saratoga Blogger Shuts Site after Police Raid
Officers with the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Computer Crimes Unit executed search warrants on three homes Wednesday morning. The homes are located in Milton, Schenectady and the Town of Perinton, in Monroe County, southeast of Rochester.
While the police will not release the names of those under investigation, one of the homes raided on Wednesday is owned by local blogger John Tighe, who operates the website Saratoga in Decline.
Police, operating under a sealed warrant issued in Albany County, seized computers and computer-related documents from all three sites, according to State Police public information officer Mark Cepiel.
The raids come after an 18-month investigation. Cepiel says an initial complaint was filed in April of 2012 by NXIVM, an organization based near Albany, involving unauthorized access to NXIVM computers. “The complaint itself was the subject of larceny of computer related information,” says Cepiel. The investigation, he says, is on-going, and despite earlier rumors that the FBI was involved with the raid, Cepiel says it was a state police operation only. There have been no arrests made in connection to the raids.
NXIVM’s website indicates that it offers executive training programs. However critics have accused the organization of being a cult. Tighe has written periodic commentary that has been critical of NXIVM.
An attorney for Tighe has not returned calls for comment, nor has Tighe himself. An attorney representing NXIVM has also not returned calls for comment.
Tighe’s site meanwhile now has a note saying, “I will be closed till further notice.”
ON THE WIRE