NASA sting leads to woman allegedly trying to sell moon rock

May 25, 2011 By Phil Willon

A woman claiming to sell a moon rock was questioned in Lake Elsinore in Riverside County on Thursday morning as part of an undercover sting by NASA investigators aided by local police.

The investigation, which spanned several months, led to a covert meeting in a Lake Elsinore restaurant where undercover officials from the agreed to buy the rock for $1.7 million, according to a report by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

When the woman produced the , several police investigators and agents swooped in.

"NASA agents took possession of the and interviewed the female suspect. At this time the investigation is ongoing," a Sheriff's Department press release stated.

The name of the woman has not been released. Sheriff's officials said neither her identity nor any more details of the case have been made available to them. Federal agents told them the case was on a "need-to-know basis."

Moon rocks are classified as "national treasures" and federal law prohibits the sale of the artifacts.

Explore further: Purdue University to display moon rock


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