WASHINGTON—A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Tennessee has charged a former contract worker at East Tennessee Technology Park with converting to his own use restricted government materials utilized for uranium enrichment and illegally transferring these restricted materials to another person, with reason to believe the materials would be used to injure the United States and secure an advantage to a foreign country.
The indictment of Roy Lynn Oakley, age 67, of Roane County, Tennessee, was announced today by Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Kenneth L. Wainstein; U.S. Attorney James R. "Russ" Dedrick; and, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Richard Lambert. Oakley, who was arrested today by the FBI, is a former employee of Bechtel Jacobs, the Department of Energy's prime environmental management contractor at East Tennessee Technology Park. He will have an initial appearance concerning these charges before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Knoxville on Thursday, July 19, 2007.
The indictment is the result of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Counterintelligence. The Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office Counterterrorism Unit worked with the investigative personnel in support of the investigation and will prosecute the case.
U.S. Attorney Dedrick said, "One of our top priorities in east Tennessee is to protect the mission, facilities, and personnel at Oak Ridge from both external and internal threats."
Assistant Attorney General Wainstein said, “While none of the stolen equipment was ever transmitted to a foreign government or terrorist organization, the facts of this case demonstrate the importance of safeguarding our nuclear technology and pursuing aggressive prosecutions against those who attempt to breach the safeguards and put that technology in the wrong hands.”
“The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation is entrusted with safeguarding sensitive materials and we remain vigilant in detecting and reporting all potential threats to these materials to federal authorities. Security is essential to the mission of the Department of Energy. This investigation demonstrates the strength of our system and importance of a coordinated federal effort in bringing justice to individuals who pose a threat to our security,” said Gerald Boyd, Manager of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Office.
Representatives from DOE also stated that scientists have examined the materials and have determined the “barrier” and related materials involved in this investigation posed no threat to persons who may have wittingly or unwittingly come in contact with them. Specifically, Count 1 of the Indictment charges that on January 26, 2007, Roy Lynn Oakley, having possession of, access to, and having been entrusted with sections of “barriers” and associated hardware used for uranium enrichment through the process of gaseous diffusion which constituted appliances within the meaning of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and which involved and incorporated Restricted Data within the meaning of Title 42, United States Code, Section 2014(y), and the said, Roy Lynn Oakley, having reason to believe that such data would be utilized to injure the United States and secure an advantage to a foreign nation, did communicate, transmit, and disclose such data to another person in violation of the Atomic Energy Act, specifically Title 42 United States Code, Section 2274(b).
If convicted of this offense, Mr. Oakley could be imprisoned for up to ten (10) years, ordered to serve a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years, fined up to $250,000, and ordered to pay a special assessment of $100.
Count 2 of the Indictment charges that beginning on or about October 17, 2006, and continuing up to and including on or about January 26, 2007, Mr. Oakley, did willfully and knowingly convert to his own use property which belonged to the United States Department of Energy, specifically, sections of “barriers” and associated hardware used for uranium enrichment through the process of gaseous diffusion which involved and incorporated Restricted Data within the meaning of Title 42, United States Code, Section 2014(y), and which had a value exceeding $1,000.
If convicted of this offense, Mr. Oakley could be imprisoned for up to ten years, ordered to serve a term of supervised release, fined up to $250,000 and ordered to pay a special assessment of $100. Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.