Scientist pleads guilty to attempted espionage

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 07, 2011 15:40 hrs

A government space scientist has pleaded guilty to one count of attempted espionage for trying to sell classified information to Israel.

Stewart David Nozette entered the plea Wednesday in federal court, where both the Justice Department and Nozette's lawyers agreed to a sentence of 13 years in prison, with credit for two years he has already spent behind bars. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said he was prepared to accept the deal, pending Nozette's cooperation with prosecutors, a procedure expected to last into November.

Nozette has been in jail since he was arrested nearly two years ago after an undercover sting operation. He was accused of seeking $2 million to sell secrets to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

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