Jun 11, 2009

Gold theft investigation at LANL nearly complete

By CAROL A. CLARK, The Los Alamos Monitor

The Investigation into an attempted gold theft that occurred in late March at Los Alamos National Laboratory's TA-55 is close to wrapping up.

“We expect the investigation to conclude most likely by the end of the month, at which time it will be referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque for a decision on whether to prosecute,” FBI Agent Todd Hulsey said Thursday.

Hulsey mentioned it appears the employee acted alone in his attempt to steal gold from his workplace at TA-55.

He was discovered attempting to exit his area with an estimated $2,000 worth of gold shavings inside a plastic sandwich bag hidden in his clutched fist.

In his attempt to smuggle out the gold, the employee triggered the first of eight layers of security mechanisms and was stopped dead in his tracks inside the Plutonium Processing Facility.

The man has reportedly worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 20 years.

“The individual is no longer employed at the laboratory,” said Public Affairs Director Jeff Berger in a recent interview.

Laboratory personnel conducted an inventory following the incident to determine if anything else was missing.

“The inventories have been completed without issue,” Berger said.

The name of the individual will be released if the U.S. Attorney’s Office determines sufficient evidence exists to call for his arrest.

The gold shavings seal cracks in platinum-lined containers used for plutonium-related work, according to information relayed to the Monitor.

The Plutonium Facility Site at TA-55 is located on 40 acres about one mile southeast of the central technical area at TA-3, according to information on the Los Alamos Study Group website.

The main complex has five connected buildings: the Administration, the Support Office Building, the Support Building, the Plutonium Facility and the Warehouse.

The Nuclear Materials Storage Facility is separate from the main complex but shares an underground transfer tunnel with the Plutonium Facility.

Various support, storage, security and training structures are located throughout the main complex.


Anonymous said...

Yet another example of how the shiny yellow color of gold makes people do some crazy things.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's because any increase won't happen until after January, if at all.

From Links.....

NNSA requests delay to Salary Increase Process

The National Nuclear Security Administration has asked the Laboratory and other NNSA contractors to move the annual Compensation Increase Plan submittal from July 1 to October 1 each year. The new schedule impacts the effective date for the annual merit exercise. We anticipate that merit increases will be awarded sometime after January 1, 2010. The Lab will again use a performance-based process to determine salary increase adjustments. More details will be shared as they become available.

Anonymous said...

"..awarded sometime after January 1, 2010"

Like maybe on December 31, 2010?

Anonymous said...

Forget the gold heist. Looks like the corrupt and well connected Espanola politco Floyd Archuleta has been scamming the taxpayers, once again.

Is he still working for the LANL Community Relations office? Why does LANL continue to hire tainted Valley politicos like this guy?

Politicos' Wives Vacation on Taxpayer Dime

EspaƱola Schools Spend over $9,000 on trip to California

Rio Grande Sun, June 11th

...Floyd Archuleta refused to even go as far as Chavez and reprint the check.

“I don’t want to go (to the bank) just to satisfy (the Rio Grande SUN),” Floyd Archuleta said. “I’m not going to get you a printout of that check. I’m just telling you how we handled it.”

This is not the first time questions have arisen when Archuleta has taken taxpayer-funded trips.

In 2000, Archuleta became the subject of a federal Department of Energy probe after the SUN found vouchers showing he charged both the city and Los Alamos National Laboratory for a trip to Carlsbad. Archuleta said it was just a simple mishap; he reimbursed the city immediately after the story ran.

Archuleta was asked why his wife went on this "business" trip.

“I always take her with me when I travel,” he said.


Anonymous said...

Good question, Why do they pay this guy? What has he done for the Community?

Anonymous said...

and i bet he was hrp

fucking idiots

Anonymous said...

This gold thief's booty was paltry compared to Osborne's theft of a gold brick from Sigma Bldg back in the 50's. He spent 10 yrs in Leavenworth for that. He claimed he took it home only for a door stop. People have been stealing from the Lab since day one.

Anonymous said...

"This gold thief's booty was paltry compared to Osborne's theft of a gold brick from Sigma Bldg back in the 50's." - 8:36 AM

Why didn't that theft result in for-profit management back in the 50's to correct the mess? You mean to tell me that the cowboys and buttheads were allowed to run LANL for well over 50 years?

Thank goodness it's been fixed by NNSA and LANS. Just imagine what could have happened to US national security because of LANL screw ups during that long period of time? It makes me shudder just to think about it! Thank good the lab employees now all wear shoes that GRIP!