Anderson County (WVLT) - Residents in the city's of Oak Ridge and Harriman are shocked to hear this case surrounds one of their neighbors...Volunteer TV talked with residents there and many people can't believe what they're hearing.
"It's scary because you don't know who lives beside you," Darlene Rayburn says.
Almost every day, Darlene Rayburn sees Roy Lynn Oakley.
"We'd see him get up and go to work everyday, they'd go to church and just seemed like they had a normal life," Rayburn says.
But that feeling of normalcy changed to shock when she heard about the charges brought against him.
"He always seemed nice to me, you wouldn't even think he would want to hurt anybody. That may not have been his intention, but it still wasn't right," Rayburn says.
And Residents say, these actions simply seem unamerican.
"It's a treasonous act and I think the man who was caught doing this should be punished to the utmost extent," Matthew Sharon says.
"It's a shame that somebody would do that to their own country," Ryan Hughes says.
Ryan Hughes says in Oak Ridge, everybody knows somebody who's worked on an Oak Ridge site and knows how tough it is to get in.
"I couldn't believe that he could get passed the security, I mean just driving by Oak Ridge you just see, it looks like a fortress," Hughes says.
Matthew Sharon has been to Iraq and says this shows we may also need to tighten security here on American soil.
"It does surprise me that someone could get as far as he did taking the secrets and selling them," Sharon says.
Residents say they feel safe knowing it was an undercover agent who tried to buy the material.
"If we wouldn't have caught him and bought the information from him, somebody would've," Hughes says.
Now, Darlene Rayburn says as far as trusting her neighbors, she'll be a little more cautious.
"It just sort of makes you wake up and take notice to maybe what's going on around you more I guess, when it his close to home," Rayburn says.
The Department of Energy says the material in question was never actually transferred to a foreign government or terrorist organization, and at no time was there any risk to the health or safety of the public.