Man jailed for trying to pass nuclear bomb secrets to Venezuela

A former scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US has been sentenced to five years in jail for attempting to pass nuclear bomb-making secrets to Venezuela.

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni pleaded guilty in 2013 to delivering secrets to an undercover FBI agent, who he thought was a Venezuelan official.

Pedro Mascheroni, who is 79, is originally from Argentina.

His wife was also sentenced to one year in prison.

Mascheroni was under investigation for about a year before he was charged.

The US intelligence agency, the FBI, seized computers, letters, photographs and book from his home.

According to court documents, Mr Mascheroni told the undercover FBI agent that he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb within 10 years.

He said the country would be able to set up a secret underground nuclear reactor to produce and enrich plutonium.

Venezuela would also be able to build a plant to produce nuclear energy, he said.

Mr Mascheroni worked for around a decade in a nuclear weapons design division at the Los Alamos laboratory where the the first atomic bomb was developed.
For a nuclear scientist this guy was not too smart.  But he certainly appears to be a traitor.  Venezuela is in the clutches of an incompetent government trying to impose a top down command economy.  They can't really afford to pay their own bills right now.


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