Federal Bureau of Investigation officials seized items from a house on Leverett Street in Keene early Sunday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into what the search warrant states is the possession or distribution of child pornography.
No arrests were made; occupants of the home say 60 electronic devices were taken, including 10 computers. Authorities also seized cameras, flash drives and cellphones, the residents said.
Authorities also took a water bill, according to resident T.J. Park.
The house at 73-75 Leverett St. is owned by Shire Free Church Monadnock, according to city property records. It is home to some individuals associated with the libertarian-leaning activist group often referred to locally as Free Keene because of a website of the same name.
Kristen M. Setera, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Boston Division, said in an email Sunday afternoon that the FBI conducted “court authorized activity” at 73 Leverett St. Sunday morning in connection with an ongoing federal investigation.
The N.H. State Police and Keene Police Department assisted the agency during the event, she said.
Setera declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing, and referred additional questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Hampshire.
A phone message left with the office wasn’t returned by press time this morning.
A video taken of the incident, which is 2 minutes and 25 seconds long, shows people in green FBI and state police vests taking computer towers covered in red “evidence” tape and items in brown bags from the residence.
Keene police officers were also at the scene.
The video, which is posted on the Free Keene blog, is dated Sunday, and is titled “FBI Warrant Execution.”
The property has been the focus of an ongoing battle over a request from the self-proclaimed church to have it exempt from paying city property taxes.
The search and seizure warrant was specifically for 73 Leverett St., which houses the studio for the Free Talk Live radio program and Free Keene leader Ian B. Freeman.
Park, who also lives there, showed The Sentinel a copy of the search and seizure warrant, which states it was executed under Title 18, section 2252 of federal law, which deals with certain activities related to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.
He said he and others involved in the group are innocent, and that the investigation will prove that.
FBI agents arrived at the house at 6 a.m., he said. They took items from the radio studio, as well as the personal property of his, Freeman and resident James Cleaveland, he said. Park said he believes agents were looking for a specific computer because they left other electronics that could store child porn, such as an Xbox.
From what he understands from the search warrant, someone used the group’s network to access a child porn website the FBI was using as a sting operation of sorts, Park said. At least 50 people have access to the network, he said.
“We await the results of the investigation, and getting to the bottom of this,” he said.