Ex-NSA employee sentenced to 262 months in prison for attempting to transfer classified documents to Russia

Pierluigi Paganini May 01, 2024

A former U.S. NSA employee has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for attempting to sell classified documents to Russia.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke (32), of Colorado Springs, is a former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) who has been sentenced to nearly 22 years (262 months) in prison for attempting to transmit classified National Defense Information (NDI) to Russia.

Dalke pleaded guilty to six counts of attempting to transmit classified documents to a foreign agent while he was working at the NSA. The man served as an Information Systems Security Designer between June 6 to July 1, 2022, this job position gave him access to sensitive information.

He shared excerpts of three classified documents, classified as Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), with an individual he believed to be a Russian agent, who was actually an FBI online covert employee. These attempts occurred between August and September 2022, using an encrypted email account to demonstrate his willingness to share sensitive information.

Dalke demanded $85,000 in return for sharing all the classified information, he was aware of the importance of the documents for the Kremlin. He also told the undercover agent that he would share more files upon his return to Washington, D.C.

Dalke arranged to transfer additional classified information to a purported Russian agent at Union Station in downtown Denver. The former NSA employee used a laptop and followed the instructions provided by his contact. Four of the transferred files contained Top Secret National Defense Information (NDI). One file was a letter expressing Dalke’s eagerness to provide information and expressing anticipation of mutual benefit.

Dalke was arrested by the FBI on September 28, shortly after he transmitted the files. The former NSA employee revealed he leaked the classified documents to injure the United States and to benefit Russia.

“This defendant, who had sworn an oath to defend our country, believed he was selling classified national security information to a Russian agent, when in fact, he was outing himself to the FBI,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “This sentence demonstrates that that those who seek to betray our country will be held accountable for their crimes. I am grateful to the FBI Denver and Washington Field Offices for their extraordinary work on this case.”

“This sentence should serve as a stark warning to all those entrusted with protecting national defense information that there are consequences to betraying that trust,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Dalke believed he was passing classified information to an agent of the Russian government. The hard work of our FBI employees prevented that from happening and any potential harm to the United States.”

Pierluigi Paganini

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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, NSA)

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