Fri. May 24th, 2024

Former NSA worker gets nearly 22 years in prison for selling secrets to undercover FBI agent

By 37ci3 Apr30,2024

DENVER — A former employee of the National Security Agency who sold classified information An undercover FBI agent believed to be a Russian official was sentenced Monday to nearly 22 years in prison, the sentence sought by government prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore said he could have Jare Sebastian Dalke32, a longer term behind bars, calling the 262-month sentence “mercy,” a calculated move to recruit him at the NSA so he could sell national security secrets.

“It was obvious. It was rude and I think it was intentional. It was a betrayal and as close to a betrayal as you can get,” Moore said.

Dalke’s lawyers had sought a 14-year prison sentence for the Army veteran, who pleaded guilty to espionage charges in a deal with prosecutors last fall, in part because the information he sold in 2022 did not fall into enemy hands. damage

Assistant federal public defender David Kraut also asked for a lighter sentence, saying Dalke suffered a traumatic brain injury, attempted suicide four times and suffered childhood trauma, including witnessing domestic violence and drug addiction. Research has shown that childhood trauma increases people’s risk of engaging in risky behavior later in life.

Dalke, who later said she was “remorseful and ashamed,” told Moore she also suffered from PTSD, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

He denied being motivated by ideology or making money by agreeing to sell secrets. Dalke also said she had an idea that he was in contact with law enforcement, but was drawn to the excitement of what he was doing.

Moore said he was skeptical of Dalke’s claims about his conditions because the defense did not provide any expert reports or hospital records.

According to court documents, Dalke, who had been working for the NSA for about a month, told an undercover FBI agent he wanted to “make a change” after questioning the United States’ role in harming the world, but he also owed $237,000. He allegedly decided to work with Russia because his heritage is “connected to your country.”

Dalke was initially paid $16,499 in cryptocurrency for excerpts of some of the documents he handed over to the agent to show what he had, and then he offered to sell the rest of the information he had for $85,000, according to the plea agreement. Prosecutors say the $85,000 is about what he would have made in a year at the NSA.

The agent ordered him to go to Denver’s central train station on September 28, 2022, and send the documents using a secure digital connection within a four-hour window. Dalke arrived with his laptop and initially used the connection to send an open-ended thank-you note in Russian, saying he “looks forward to our friendship and mutual benefit,” according to the plea agreement. Minutes after he used his laptop to transfer all the files, FBI agents arrested him.

According to the indictment, the information Dalke wanted to give to Russia also included a threat assessment of the military attack capabilities of an unnamed third country. It also includes a description of US sensitive defense capabilities, some of which are specific to that foreign country.

Speaking in court after the hearing, FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek said he could not elaborate on what the documents contained, but that Dalke knew the risk they posed.

“He knew that releasing these documents would pose an extremely serious threat to the national security of the United States,” said Michalek, who was joined by US Attorney for Colorado Cole Finegan.

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By 37ci3

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