Ex-NSA worker charged with trying to sell US secrets
DENVER (AP) — A former National Security Agency employee from Colorado is charged with trying to sell classified information to…
DENVER (AP) —
A former National Security Agency employee from Colorado is charged with trying to sell classified information to a foreign government.
Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 30, was arrested Wednesday after allegedly passing information to an undercover FBI agent he believed was a representative of an unnamed foreign government, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
Dalke, of Colorado Springs, worked for the NSA, the U.S. intelligence agency that collects and analyzes signals from foreign and domestic sources for the purpose of intelligence and counterintelligence, as an information systems security designer for less than a month this summer, the department said.
According to his arrest affidavit, Dalke, an Army veteran, began communicating by encrypted email with the undercover agent around July 29, 2022, saying he had taken highly sensitive information related to the foreign targeting of U.S. systems and information on U.S. cyber operations, among other things.
Court documents did not identify the country Dalke allegedly believed he was providing information to but they note that he speaks basic Spanish and Russian and that he tried to verify that the undercover agent was working for a foreign government, rather than “americans (sic) trying to stifle a patriot,” by using a website for the Russian government’s external intelligence agency. Dalke also requested that the agent verify their identity by posting on an official website or through a report in one of the “media services associated with the government,” the arrest affidavit said.
To prove he had access to the information, Dalke sent excerpts of three classified documents and one full classified document and was paid for the information in a requested amount of cryptocurrency, the affidavit said. He was arrested after showing up to transmit more information using a secure connection at a public location in Denver, after requesting $85,000 for it, the Justice Department said.
Dalke, who is charged with three violations of the Espionage Act, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Denver Thursday. It was not known if he has a lawyer representing him yet.
According to the arrest affidavit, Dalke told the undercover agent that he had $237,000 in debts. In 2017, he filed for bankruptcy because of student loan and credit card debts, it said.
The case is the latest prosecution involving a government worker accused of trying to pass classified information to someone they thought was a foreign government representative. Jonathan Toebbe, a Navy nuclear engineer, was arrested along with his wife, Diana, in October 2021 on charges of trying to sell submarine secrets to a foreign government. Both have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report from Washington.
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