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By Roger Snodgrass

Fourteen months after hundreds of classified documents were found at the home of Jessica Quintana in Los Alamos, she was sentenced to two years of supervised probation.In a hearing Thursday in Albuquerque, U.S. Judge Lorenzo Garcia ruled against a request by the Department of Energy that Quintana pay restitution of $384,150.Quintana worked for a subcontractor at Los Alamos National Laboratory when she removed the classified material. Los Alamos County police discovered unauthorized electronic data and hard copies incidentally during the follow-up to a drug investigation of a roommate in the home.Quintana pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of negligent handling of classified documents in May.The case became the focus of attention in a series of Congressional investigations, security audits by the FBI, the Department of Energy and its nuclear agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration, among others, and set in motion reforms, new procedures and capital investments throughout the nuclear weapons complex.LANS, the consortium managing LANL, was fined $300,000, for shortcomings in the occurrence, while the University of California recently reached a settlement to pay $2.8 million of a $3 million fine for its share of the security breakdown.Quintana apologized to the court Thursday, the Associated Press (AP) reported, saying she knew there was a lack of security at Los Alamos and took advantage of it.“If I could go back and do it, it wouldn’t ever cross my mind,” she said. “There’s nobody to blame but myself.”The judge acknowledged that Quintana did not have the means to pay such a large fine.“All other costs appear to be costs that came in the aftermath of this incident and I do not view those to be directly related to the conduct of Ms. Quintana,” he said.AP reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Paula Barnett sought an admission of responsibility from Quintana and was satisfied that she had done that.She did not comment on the sentence.Before sentencing, Quintana’s Attorney Stephen Aarons of Santa Fe asked for information related to other reported security incidents within the federal government and their legal outcomes.In a sentencing memorandum based on those documents, Aarons argued that very few violations were ever prosecuted, even when the consequences had been greater.Among the multiple incidents that were documented in the appendices to the memo was the case of a former Ambassador to the Soviet Union who was discovered after a traffic accident to have classified materials in the trunk of his car. He received only a reprimand.Presidential advisor Samuel Berger and former CIA director John Deutch were both prosecuted for serious security infractions, but received only probation. Deutch was pardoned by President Clinton.In other exhibits Aarons referenced, a total of 574 serious security infractions between 2002 and 2004, “with no criminal sanctions and only minimal administrative consequences.”Aarons argued in the sentencing memorandum that Quintana had been overwhelmed in “an untenable and unsupervised job.”As the funding for the contract dried up, “the task of archiving more pages than humanly possible was dumped on Ms. Quintana,” he stated, adding that she took the documents home to meet the deadlines.In a footnote to the sentencing memo, Aarons stated that the hard copies found in Quintana’s possession were “only the coversheet pages of secret and unclassified documents regarding nuclear tests over sixty (60) years agoeewhich would have had virtually no value in modern times, particularly without the second and subsequent pages.”Aarons wrote in an e-mail message Thursday, “Obviously we are pleased with the sentence and will not appeal.”