Los Alamos scientist, wife plead guilty to trying to sell nuke secrets

Posted at: 06/22/2013 10:55 AM
Updated at: 06/22/2013 11:07 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Pedro and Roxby Mascheroni pleaded guilty to a nuclear weapon conspiracy.
Pedro and Roxby Mascheroni pleaded guilty to a nuclear weapon conspiracy.

ALBUQUERQUE – A Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist and his wife have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sell classified nuclear weapons data to Venezuela.

Pedro Mascheroni, 77, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Argentina, and 70-year-old Marjorie Mascheroni, a U.S. citizen, entered their pleas in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico on Friday.

According to court filings, Pedro, a Ph.D. physicist, worked as a scientist at the Los Alamos lab from 1979 to 1988 and held a security clearance that allowed him access to certain classified information, including “restricted data.”  

Marjorie also worked at the lab between 1981 and 2010, where her duties included technical writing and editing. She also held a security clearance that allowed her access to certain classified information.

The couple was indicted in Sept. 2010 and charged with conspiracy to communicate restricted data to an undercover FBI agent they believed to be a Venezuelan official.  

Pedro faces up to five and a half years in prison while Marjorie faces up to two years behind bars. The couple’s sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled.

The indictment in this case did not allege that the government of Venezuela or anyone acting on its behalf sought or was passed any classified information, nor did it charge any Venezuelan government officials or anyone acting on their behalf with wrongdoing.