Government officials arrested a 30-year-old former NSA agent who had been attempting to sell official “secrets” to an undercover FBI agent whom he believed to be a foreign operator.
On Thursday, Jareh Sebastian Dalke made his first court appearance since being charged with espionage for allegedly attempting to send National Defense Information (NDI) to a Russian agent.
Dalke, who worked for the NSA between June and July of this year as an information systems security designer, was detained on Wednesday when he went to meet with his contact to discuss allegedly selling secret material.
The Department of Justice claims that Dalke sent confidential information to a person he thought was a representative of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service through an encrypted email account.
“In actuality, that person was an undercover FBI agent. Dalke subsequently arranged to transfer additional classified information in his possession to the undercover FBI agent at a location in Denver, Colorado,” the DOJ said.
“On or about Aug. 26, 2022, Dalke requested $85,000 in return for additional information in his possession. Dalke also told the FBI undercover agent that he would share additional information in the future, once he returned to the Washington, D.C., area. Although he was not employed by the NSA while communicating with the FBI, Dalke re-applied to the NSA in August 2022,” the DOJ said.
Court documents show that Dalke allegedly told the undercover agent that he “recently learned that my heritage ties back to your country, which is part of why I have come to you.”
He allegedly also said that he wanted to sell the documents because he “questioned our role in damage to the world in the past and by mixture of curiosity for secrets and a desire to cause change.”
According to the charges, one of the documents that were intended to be sold were classified as “secret,” while two more were “top secret.” He was charged with three violations of the Espionage Act.