Nuclear Courier Accused of Stealing Restricted Items, Selling on Web

A former nuclear materials courier with top secret clearance was indicted Wednesday on charges that he used his position to obtain restricted items and sell them over the Internet.

Joe Allen Sizemore, 41, of Amarillo, was charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and possession of unregistered firearms, U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper announced Wednesday in a news release.

Roper said Sizemore was expected to surrender to federal authorities and make his initial court appearance within the next two weeks.

No telephone listing for Sizemore could immediately be found in the Amarillo area.

Sizemore worked as a nuclear materials courier for the Office of Secure Transportation under the Department of Energy and was assigned to the Pantex Plant, a nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility near Amarillo.

Couriers transport nuclear weapons and obtain body armor, night scopes and weaponry restricted to government and law-enforcement officials. They agree to return equipment the DOE that has been provided to them during their employment, according to Roper's statement.

From July 2003 until August 2005, Sizemore prepared purchase requests of restricted items on DOE letterhead and submitted them to his supervisors, who signed them, according to the indictment. After he received the items, he posted them for sale on the Internet, prosecutors say.

Authorities recovered two submachine guns when they searched Sizemore's home in October, according to the release. The fully automatic weapons are required by law to be registered in the National Firearms Registry.

Sizemore had worked at Pantex since 1990 and had top secret clearance, according to a previous report published in the Amarillo Globe-News.