Dec 20, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A former archivist at Los Alamos National Laboratory was sentenced Thursday to two years' probation for taking home secret data from the nuclear weapons facility.
Jessica Quintana, 23, pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor count of negligent handling of classified documents. Police found the data - on a portable computer storage drive and in about 200 pages of paper documents - during an October 2006 drug bust aimed at her roommate in her Los Alamos home.
After the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paula Burnett said she believed Quintana had admitted responsibility. Prosecutors had not opposed Quintana's request to be sentenced only to probation.
U.S. Magistrate Lorenzo Garcia turned down the Department of Energy's request that Quintana be required to pay restitution. The agency had sought a $384,150 fine.
Quintana apologized to the court, 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.''
Quintana's attorney, Stephen Aarons, had said she was working for a lab contractor converting documents to an electronic format and took them home to catch up on her work. But in her plea agreement, Quintana admitted she took classified documents and computer files from a lab vault, put them in her backpack and brought them home.
Quintana was laid off by the contractor before police found the documents.
The judge ordered her to refrain from alcohol or drugs, stay away from bars, and to submit to searches of her personal property or vehicle.