A former U.S. National Security Agency employee from Colorado has admitted to attempting to sell top secret information to Russia.
Jareh Sebastian Dalke of Colorado Springs pleaded guilty Monday to six counts of attempted espionage, according to the Department of Justice. Dalke admitted that between August and September 2022, he used an encrypted email account to send excerpts from three classified documents to an undercover FBI agent whom he believed to be a Russian agent.
Dalke served as an Information Systems Security Designer for the NSA at the time.
The Justice Department said Dalke later requested $85,000 in exchange for all the information he had in his possession and said it would be of value to Russia. He then used a laptop computer to transfer five additional files to the covert employee, four of which contained top-secret information.
The fifth document was a letter that states, in part, "I look forward to our friendship and shared benefit. Please let me know if there are desired documents to find and I will try when I return to my main office."
Dalke was arrested by the FBI on Sept. 28, just moments after transferring the files.
Dalke pleaded guilty to the charges of attempted espionage and admitted that he willfully transmitted the files with the intent to harm the U.S. and benefit Russia. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, but, as part of his plea deal, prosecutors have agreed not to seek more than 22 years behind bars.
Dalke's sentencing is scheduled for April 26, 2024, when a U.S. district court judge will ultimately determine the penalty.
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