May 01, 2024NewsroomNational Security / Insider Threat

A former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been sentenced to nearly 22 years (262 months) in prison for attempting to transfer classified documents to Russia.

“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 FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, of Colorado Springs was employed as an Information Systems Security Designer between June 6 to July 1, 2022, during which time he had access to sensitive information.

Despite his short tenure at the intelligence agency, Dalke is said to have made contact with a person he thought was a Russian agent sometime between August and September of that year. In reality, the person was an undercover agent working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


To demonstrate his “legitimate access and willingness to share,” he then emailed the purported Russian agent snippets of three top-secret National Defense Information (NDI) documents that were obtained during his employment using an encrypted email account.

Dalke, who demanded $85,000 in return for sharing all the files in his possession, claimed the information would be of value to Russia and told his contact that he would share more documents upon his return to Washington, D.C.

He was subsequently arrested on September 28, 2022, shortly after he transferred five files to the supposed Russian spy at Union Station in downtown Denver via a laptop computer. The defendant pleaded guilty to the crime in October 2023.

“As part of his plea agreement, Dalke admitted that he willfully transmitted files to the FBI online covert employee with the intent and reason to believe the information would be used to injure the United States and to benefit Russia,” the U.S. Justice Department said.

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