WASHINGTON (AP) _ A telecommunications specialist with the Drug Enforcement Administration is aiding authorities after pleading guilty to embezzlement in a scheme the Justice Department says netted him and a confederate nearly $500,000 worth of electronic equipment.

It was the second corruption case at the drug agency in a week. But agency officials said there was no connection between the electronics scam and the 74 counts filed March 13 against a former DEA budget analyst. David S. Bowman, 57, was charged with stealing $6 million from the agency in what was called the largest internal theft in Justice Department history.

In suburban Alexandria, Va., Michael D. Hendrix, 53, of Stafford, Va., pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of embezzlement as part of a plea bargain in which he agreed to cooperate in the continuing investigation of a confederate who was not identified by name.

Between August 1992 and August 1997, Hendrix conspired with an unnamed confederate to submit 37 DEA purchase orders to outside companies for television sets, videocassette recorders, videotapes, audio tapes, laser discs, laser disc players, audio equipment, speakers, computers and printers, government court documents said.

Hendrix retained for his own use or sold to the general public equipment worth $194,000; his co-conspirator retained for his own use or sold equipment worth $300,000, the documents said.

Hendrix forfeited to the government $33,200 worth of electronic equipment seized from his house. Suspended with pay since December 1997, Hendrix resigned from DEA Thursday as part of the plea agreement. He had worked at DEA headquarters for the last seven years.

To give prosecutors time to evaluate Hendrix's cooperation, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema set sentencing for May 29. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

DEA's acting chief inspector, William Simpkins, said his office and the FBI began the investigation in October.