WASHINGTON — A Maryland scientist was charged Monday with attempting to sell top-secret information to Israel for $11,000, federal prosecutors said.
Stewart D. Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, was arrested on a charge of attempted espionage and is being held pending an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Washington, authorities said.
Authorities said the charges stemmed from an undercover sting operation in which an FBI agent posed as an Israeli spy. Nozette passed the agent sensitive information through a "dead drop" at a Washington post office in recent weeks, authorities said.
Nozette worked for the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1990 through 1999, prosecutors said. He was credited with helping develop a radar that suggested ice on the south pole of the moon in 1994.
He has held security clearances as high as top secret and had access to classified information as recently as 2006, authorities said.
An official in the press office of the Israeli Embassy declined to comment.