|This image displayed on a search warrant provided by the US District Court for the Central District of California shows a very small piece of moon rock (c.) from Joann Davis. [Agencies]|
The elaborate mission to recover a moon rock led NASA agents to family restaurant in southern California. But at the end of the sting operation, agents were left holding a speck of lunar dust smaller than a grain of rice and a 73-year-old suspect who was terrified by armed officials, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The target, Joann Davis, a grandmother who says she wanted to sell the lunar material because she was trying to raise money for her sick son, asserts the lunar material was rightfully hers, having been given to her space-engineer husband by Neil Armstrong in the 1970s.
But the authorities believed Davis was in possession of stolen government property.
(China.org.cn October 27, 2011)