Former NSA Worker Receives 22-Year Sentence For Espionage

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee was sentenced Monday to nearly 22 years in prison for attempting to sell classified information, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, received a prison sentence of 262 months for attempting to sell classified information. Dalke pled guilty Oct. 2023 to six charges of attempting to transmit classified National Defense Information (NDI) to a foreign agent, according to the court documents, DOJ stated. During his tenure at the NSA from June 6 to July 1, 2022, as an Information Systems Security Designer, Dalke utilized an encrypted email account to send excerpts of three classified documents to an individual he believed to be a Russian agent, between August and September 2022.

However, the person he dealt with turned out to be an FBI online covert employee, according to the DOJ. These documents, designated as Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), were acquired by Dalke during his NSA employment. In August 2022, Dalke demanded $85,000 for his stash of information and claimed its significance to Russia. He pledged to the FBI undercover agent his readiness to divulge more upon his return to Washington, D.C.

Subsequently, Dalke set up a rendezvous at Union Station in downtown Denver to hand over additional classified material to the alleged Russian contact. Using a laptop and guidance from the FBI operative, he transferred five files, four of which were labeled Top Secret NDI. One contained a letter in Russian addressed to “My friends!”, expressing Dalke’s willingness to cooperate further. His arrest followed on Sept. 28, 2023, after transmitting the files. (RELATED: ‘At Least 40’ Undercover Informants Were Doing Surveillance On Jan. 6, Defense Lawyer Says)

“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, DOJ stated. “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.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that there are consequences for betraying the trust of protecting national defense information. “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 Wray.