Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
alert-–-former-nsa-worker,-31,-pleads-guilty-to-trying-to-sell-classified-information-for-$85,000-to-covert-fbi-agent-posing-as-a-russian-agentAlert – Former NSA worker, 31, pleads guilty to trying to sell classified information for $85,000 to covert FBI agent posing as a Russian agent

A former NSA worker has pleaded guilty to six federal counts of espionage after he was caught trying to share secrets to a fed posing as a foreign agent.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, a 31-year-old Army vet from Colorado Springs, had faced a possible life sentence for giving out the information – but will serve only 22 years when he is sentenced in April, prosecutors said Monday.

Arrested in a raid three weeks ago at his home, Dalke worked at the agency for less than a month in 2022.

Afterward he sought to sell three documents still in his possession for some $85,000 in untraceable cryptocurrency.

Dalke believed the buyer to be a Russian agent – and used an encrypted email to transmit excerpts of the stolen files between August and September of that year to him to demonstrate both his ‘legitimate access and willingness to share,’ feds say.

Promising more, Dalke then arranged to transfer other files to the purported agent during a physical meeting at a Denver subway station.

Former NSA worker Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 31, has pleaded guilty to six federal counts of espionage after he was caught trying to share secrets to a fed posing as a foreign agent. Feds stormed his Colorado Springs home in September 2022. He’s been in federal custody since

The guns-drawn raid on the unassuming residence left the army vet’s neighbors stunned, with one resident of the suburb telling KKTV at the time: ‘He seemed like a normal dude’

Using a laptop and instructions provided by the FBI covert, Dalke transferred five files, four of which contained top-secret info, his affidavit states. 

The other file was a letter, which began, in Russian, ‘My friends!’ and states, ‘I am very happy to finally provide this information to you. . . . I look forward to our friendship and shared benefit.’ 

It adds: ‘Please let me know if there are desired documents to find and I will try when I return to my main office.’   

The FBI arrested Dalke on September 28 of that year, moments after he transmitted the files. Shortly after, they engaged in a guns-drawn raid on his unassuming residence in Colorado Springs, startling his neighbors.

Speaking with local outlets at the time, they described the former NSA Information Systems Security Designer as an average guy.

‘He seemed like a normal dude,’ one resident of the suburb told KKTV of the man prosecutors said had student loan debt he was trying to pay off.

‘I don’t know,’ he continued, visibly put off by the daytime raid. ‘You never know your neighbors, I guess.’

Said to have degrees related to cybersecurity, Dalke worked at the NSA from just June 6 to July 1, but was still able to make off with multiple documents containing classified information pertaining to National Defense.

He’s been kept in federal custody since, and told U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore Monday that he has been taking medications for mental illness since his arrest.

Dalke initially pleaded not guilty to all charges before him – before changing his plea to guilty this week. As of Monday, it’s unknown what his sentence will be

Dalke only spoke in answer to questions from Moore about whether he understood the terms of the deal, which included pleading guilty all six counts of attempting to transmit national defense information to an office or agent of a foreign government

He only spoke in answer to questions from Moore about whether he understood the terms of the deal, which included pleading guilty all six counts of attempting to transmit national defense information to an office or agent of a foreign government. 

According to prosecutors, Dalke’s history includes time in the Army – where he served as a private and a volunteer police officer with the Colorado Reserves. 

The Reserves, also known as the Rangers, help local police during events deemed a crisis. 

He pursued an education in cyber security, and told feds he had both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. 

His stint at the NSA was brief, and came to an end after an exit interview where he said he had to help and ill family member, but that the job did not offer enough time to do so. 

According to the indictment, the information Dalke sought to give Russia included a threat assessment of the military offensive capabilities of a third, unnamed country. 

It also includes a description of sensitive U.S. defense capabilities, some of which relates to that same foreign country.

He allegedly told the undercover agent that he had $237,000 in debts and that he decided to work with Russia because his heritage ‘ties back to your country.’

He’s been kept in federal custody since September of last year, and told U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore Monday he has been taking medications for mental illness since his arrest

Pictured: NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Dalke worked for the NSA for just one month during summer 2022 before attempting to sell Top Secret US information to Russian adversaries

Before Dalke transferred the classified information, he sent a thank you letter that opened and closed in Russian and in which he said he looked ‘forward to our friendship and shared benefit,’ according to court filings.

Dalke worked as an information systems security designer 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. 

After he left and gave the classified information to the undercover agent, prosecutors say he reapplied to work at the NSA.

During a hearing last year, Dalke’s federal public defender downplayed Dalke’s access to classified information since he only worked at the NSA for less than a month.

Dalke initially pleaded not guilty to all charges before him – before changing his plea to guilty this week. As of Monday, it’s unknown what his sentence will be.. 

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