Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tennessee Man Sentenced For Trying To Sell Stolen Government Uranium Enrichment Equipment

U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan today sentenced Roy Lynn Oakley, 67, of Harriman, Tenn., to six years in prison for trying to sell parts of uranium enrichment equipment that he had stolen from a U.S. Department of Energy facility in Oak Ridge.

Oakley had illegally taken this equipment while employed at a building formerly known as the K-25 plant. The K-25 building, now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park, was operated by DOE to produce highly enriched uranium used in the manufacture of atomic weapons.

Oakley pleaded guilty in January after being charged with trying to sell the equipment for $200,000 to a person he thought was an agent of the French government. FBI agents launched an undercover investigation in 2007 after learning that Oakley had taken the equipment and was offering to sell it to a foreign government.

Oakley told the undercover agent that while he did not want to sell the materials to a country like North Korea, he was willing to sell them materials to the French government as he thought they might benefit from it. During a meeting with the FBI undercover agent as part of a “sting” operation, Oakley handed over the equipment and was paid $200,000 in cash. He was immediately arrested.

At no time did any real representative of the French government talk to Oakley.

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