Check out our new channel!

Home News Articles News Releases Classified Ads Techpapers Links Contact US Media Kit

Janitor Pleads Guilty in Tennessee Nuclear Parts Theft


January 27, 2009

A former janitor accused of trying to sell broken nuclear weapons equipment from a shuttered Tennessee facility has pleaded guilty.

Roy Lynn Oakley, 67, abandoned his not guilty plea to a two-count federal indictment shortly after entering the courthouse on the day that his case had been set for trial.

"Guilty, sir," the defendant told the U.S. District Judge, to one count of disclosing restricted data in violation of the Atomic Energy Act.

Oakley was a contract worker at the former K-25 uranium enrichment plant in Oak Ridge when he was arrested in 2007. He worked as a laborer and escort for other contractor employees dismantling the World War II-era plant, which is being transformed into an industrial park.

Oakley acted alone in trying to sell a handful of uranium enrichment parts first to the French government and then to an undercover FBI agent for $200,000 in cash, Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Mackie said.

According to the plea deal Oakley sneaked six pieces of enrichment hardware out in 2006 that he was supposed to have broken apart. The hardware included three 4-inch long "barrier" tubes for separating highly enriched uranium in K-25's gaseous diffusion process. Oakley will by sentenced in May and will serve six years in prison, followed by three years' supervised release. Oakley faced up to twenty years if convicted.