Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Traitor trapped: U.S.- Argentinian scientist conspired to sell nuclear secrets to Venezuela

Leo Mascheroni and his wife Marjorie pose in their Los Alamos home Photo: AP

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, 75, is said to have claimed that he could help Venezuela achieve a nuclear bomb within 10 years.

He was held following a sting operation in which an FBI undercover operative posed as an agent from the South American country.

The US government said that, in reality, Venezuela had not been seeking US secrets, nor had anyone working for it.

Under Mr Mascheroni’s alleged plan, Venezuela would have used a secret, underground nuclear reactor to produce and enrich plutonium, and an open reactor above ground to create nuclear energy.

The scientist’s wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, 67, a US citizen, was also arrested.

Both used to work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, a US government facility which conducts nuclear weapons research.

They appeared in court in Albuquerque, New Mexico to face 22 charges. They could be imprisoned for life if convicted.

The charges included “communicating classified nuclear weapons data” and “conspiring to participate in the development of an atomic weapon for Venezuela”. After being contacted by the undercover FBI agent, Mr Mascheroni was said to have provided a 132-page document entitled “A Deterrence Program for Venezuela”, which allegedly contained “restricted data” on nuclear weapons development.

It was said to have been…READ MORE HERE