Former NSA employee sentenced to 21 years for trying to sell US secrets to Russia

(DENVER) — 31-year-old Jareh Sebastian Dalke of Colorado Springs has been sentenced to more than two decades in federal prison after pleading guilty to six counts of attempting to transmit classified National Defense Information to an agent of the Russian Federation.

According to court documents, Dalke worked as an Information Systems Security Designer for the NSA from June 6, 2022 to July 1, 2022. Dalke admitted to using an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents to a person he believed was a Russian agent between August and September 2022.

The person Dalke was transmitting information to was an undercover FBI agent and the Department of Justice (DOJ) said the excerpts were taken from documents classified as Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information and obtained by Dalke during his employment at the NSA.

According to FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek, Dalke was arrested in September of 2022 at Union Station in downtown Denver, moments after the exchange with what Dalke thought was an agent of Russia.

“The former NSA employee and military veteran betrayed the American people for $85,000 in cryptocurrency,” said Special Agent Michalek.

As part of his plea agreement in October of 2023, Dalke admitted that he willfully transmitted files to the covert FBI employee “with the intent and reason to believe the information would be used to injure the United States and to benefit Russia,” the DOJ said.

At a press conference on Monday, April 29, U.S. Attorney for the State of Colorado, Cole Finegan announced that Dalke had been sentenced to 262 months, just under 22 years, in federal prison, for his actions.

“Mr. Dalke pled guilty last fall to six counts of attempting to sell classified National Security Information to the Russian government,” said Finegan. “Through the terrific work of our partners in the FBI here in Colorado, he was not successful. He was not able to betray his country successfully. But make no mistake, he did attempt to betray his country.”

You can watch the full press conference on Jareh Dalke’s sentencing in the video player below.

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