South Bay Science Camp Leader Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

An employee of an outdoor science summer camp for fifth and sixth graders in Santa Clara County was arrested Thursday on suspicion of having hundreds of images and videos of child pornography, sheriff's officials said.

The sheriff's office served a search warrant at the Walden West Science Camp outside of Saratoga and arrested 27-year-old Edgar Covarrubias.

Federal investigators tipped off the sheriff's office to locals downloading child pornography and exchanging it over international borders. Some of those downloads were tracked to Covarrubias.

Authorities allegedly found Covarrubias with hundreds of child pornography images and videos on his personal computer and phone.

The county's Office of Education operates Walden West, weeklong summer camps for science education, at two sites in Saratoga and Cupertino. Covarrubias worked at the Cupertino site but lived at the Saratoga camp, Office of Education spokesman Ken Blackstone said.

Covarrubias was fired from his position as a substitute recreation assistant and evening facilities monitor after the camp learned of the allegations, Blackstone said today.

He had worked at the camp since August 2013 and passed a standard background check, including fingerprint clearance by the U.S. Department of Justice, said county officials.

"I want to reassure the community that the safety and ecurity of our students and staff is our highest priority," county schools Superintendent Jon Gundry said in a statement.

"Such allegations are simply intolerable and we will thoroughly review all aspects of this case to ensure we continue to provide a safe learning environment for all students," Gundry said.

Covarrubias was booked into jail on suspicion of possession of child pornography.

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to call the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office at (408)808-4300.

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