Former government scientist Stewart David Nozette admitted Wednesday in Federal court that he attempted to sell classified information to the Israeli government. The attempt was foiled by an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli spy, but the exchange contained information on satellites, early warning systems, communications intelligence and elements of defense strategy and retaliation against attack. Nozette, if convicted of all charges, could face the death penalty, though both the Justice Department and Nozette’s lawyers have agreed to a 13-year prison sentence including the two years already spent in prison, pending Nozette’s cooperation.
During his time working as a government scientist, Nozette had high-level security clearances with NASA, the Energy Department and the National Space Council. Due to the nature of information he possesses, primarily on the nation’s missile program, special communications restrictions were placed on him in prison.