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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Los Alamos National Laboratory employee has been sentenced to a year in prison for trying to take a 2-ounce piece of gold valued at $2,000 from the lab.
Alex Maestas was sentenced Tuesday by Senior U.S. District Judge C. Leroy Hansen.
The 46-year-old Maestas pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to theft of government property. During a plea hearing, he admitted stealing the gold from an area used to store plutonium and nuclear materials.
Investigators say the gold had been contaminated by a small amount of radioactive material, which triggered a monitoring alarm when Maestas tried to leave the facility on March 24, 2009.
Gold is stored at the site for science experiments.
Get the full story in Wednesday's edition of the Los Alamos Monitor.