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Ex-NSA Employee Sentenced to Over 20 Years in Prison for Selling Secrets to Undercover Agent

National Security Agency (Credits: CNN)

A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee, Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been sentenced to 262 months (over 20 years) in prison for selling classified information to a Russian official.

Dalke, who worked as an information systems security designer for the NSA in 2022, pleaded guilty to six counts of attempting to share classified national defense information with an agent of the Russian Federation.

National Security Agency (Credits: CNET)

According to federal prosecutors, Dalke used an encrypted email account to share excerpts from three classified documents with an individual he believed was a Russian agent, but who was actually an undercover FBI employee.

The documents, classified as “top secret/sensitive compartmented information,” contained sensitive information related to national defense. Dalke requested $85,000 in exchange for the information and offered to provide additional classified information in the future.

Dalke also transferred five files to the purported Russian agent, four of which contained classified information. The fifth file was a letter expressing his desire for a “friendship” and “shared benefit.”

The FBI Director, Christopher Wray, stated that this sentence serves as a warning to those entrusted with protecting national defense information that there are consequences for betraying that trust.

National Security Agency (Credits: Wikipedia)

U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore described the sentence as “mercy” and stated that he could have issued a longer sentence. The sentence was the same as requested by federal prosecutors, but longer than the 14-year sentence requested by Dalke’s attorneys.

Judge Moore characterized Dalke’s actions as “blatant,” “brazen,” and “deliberate,” and stated that it was a “betrayal” and “as close to treasonous as you can get.”

In court, Dalke expressed remorse and shame, and mentioned that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, Judge Moore emphasized that Dalke’s actions were a serious breach of trust and that the sentence reflects the severity of his crimes.

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