Ex-Janitor Gets 6 Years for Nuclear Parts Theft

A former janitor was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for trying to sell scrap hardware he stole from a shuttered plant that enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.

Roy Lynn Oakley, 67, of Harriman pleaded guilty in January to one count of disclosing restricted data in violation of the Atomic Energy Act. He entered the plea deal the day his trial was set to begin.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan sentenced Oakley to the six-year prison term outlined in the deal and three years of supervised release after Oakley gets out. He could have received up to 20 years if convicted of the original two charges in his indictment.

Oakley admitted taking the equipment from the U.S. Energy Department's former K-25 uranium enrichment plant in Oak Ridge, where he was employed from 2006 to 2007 by cleanup contractor Bechtel Jacobs and held a moderate security clearance.

Oakley tried to sell the material in January 2007 for $200,000 to foreign agents he thought were from France. The agent he met to close the deal turned out to be from the FBI.

Federal prosecutors said Oakley told the agent he did not want to sell the parts to a country like North Korea but thought the French government might benefit from them.

Oakley tried to peddle the materials in calls to French consulates in Atlanta and Chicago and the French Embassy in Washington. The French alerted the FBI, which created the sting operation to catch Oakley.