Former NSA employee, Jareh Sebastian Dalke, has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his attempt to transmit classified defense information to Russia. Serving as an Information Systems Security Designer at the NSA for a brief period from June 6, 2022, to July 1, 2022, Dalke held Top Secret clearance, granting him access to sensitive documents. He admitted to using an encrypted email account between August and September 2022 to send excerpts of three classified documents to an individual he believed was a Russian agent. However, this supposed agent turned out to be an FBI operative.
Additionally, Dalke is alleged to have requested $85,000 in exchange for sharing the classified information he possessed, claiming it would be valuable to Russia, with promises to provide more documents in the future.
The document transmission took place at Union Station in downtown Denver, Colorado, via a laptop and included five files, four of which contained Top Secret National Defense Information (NDI). These documents contained information related to the NSA’s plans to update a cryptographic program, as well as threat assessments regarding sensitive U.S. defense capabilities and Russia’s offensive capabilities.
Following the transmission, Dalke was arrested on September 28, 2022. Having now pleaded guilty, he awaits his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 26, 2024. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of life in prison, marking a significant case of espionage within the NSA and a breach of national security that raises questions about the protection of sensitive government information.