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Feds nab granny in moon rock sting

74-year-old who tried to sell husband's pressie arrested

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A Californian grandmother was taken down in a sting operation by government agents when she tried to sell a tiny piece of moon rock dust she claims to have owned for nearly four decades.

Moon rocks tend to be worth quite a lot, due to their scarcity and the difficulty in getting more of them, and estimates suggest this dust could be worth more than $1m.

Joann Davis, who is 74 years old, hoped to sell the tiny speck of moon rock encased in a paperweight that she said her space engineer husband gave to her, according to a CBS News report.

She contacted NASA to help her to find a buyer, but the agency suspected her of dealing in stolen government property. When she went to her local Denny's in May to seal the deal, federal agents were waiting.

Davis insists that the moon debris is not stolen.

"I know it and they know it too," she said. "But how else are they going to credit themselves with how they took it? How do they justify it?"

She was detained and questioned for two hours, but has yet to be charged with anything.

Her attorney Peter Schlueter said there was "no such law that moon rocks belong to the federal government" and the feds hadn't shown that Davis' dust was stolen.

Davis said she now just wants NASA to return the moon rock to her and that she and Schlueter were considering legal action to try to get it back. ®

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