(WASHINGTON) - A former government scientist pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to attempted espionage charges for his efforts to sell classified information to Israel.
Steward Nozette helped discover water on the moon, worked on the Reagan-era “Star Wars” ballistic missile defense program and ran a variety of highly classified projects for NASA, the Defense Department and the Department of Energy.
He was arrested on October 19, 2009 at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington by counterintelligence after he believed he was meeting with agents from the Mossad to pass information to them in exchange for money. It was all an FBI sting operation, and the FBI used an undercover agent who approached Nozette in September 2009 and told him he worked for Mossad.
The FBI began their investigation into Nozette in 2002 when agents searched his home in a fraud investigation and discovered classified documents. Justice Department and FBI officials say Nozette was motivated by greed.
Nozette now faces 13 years in prison for his attempted espionage.
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