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Ex-NSA worker accused of selling secrets ordered detained

Posted at 6:08 AM, Oct 12, 2022

DENVER — A former National Security Agency employee from Colorado accused of trying to sell classified information to Russia will remain behind bars while he is prosecuted.

A magistrate judge said Tuesday that 30-year-old Jareh Sebastian Dalke is a possible flight risk, given the possible life sentence he is facing and his alleged sympathies for Russia.

He pleaded not guilty through his lawyer during the hearing in Denver federal court.

The FBI arrested the Colorado Springs man in late September on charges he attempted to send classified documents to the Russian foreign service, according to federal court documents.

Dalke was a former Information Systems Security Designer for the National Security Agency (NSA) for less than one month this summer.

According to the arrest affidavit, Dalke used an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents to an individual he believed to be working for a foreign government.

The documents were sent between August and September of this year. He first had contact with this individual in late July 2022. He told that individual that he had taken highly sensitive information relating to foreign targeting of U.S. systems and information on U.S. cyber operations, among other topics.

But the individual he was in contact with was actually an undercover FBI agent. Dalke arranged to transfer another classified document to this person, meeting at a location in Denver, where Dalke was arrested.

According to the affidavit, Dalke represented to the undercover FBI agent that he was still employed by the U.S. government but was on a temporary assignment at a field location. He also requested compensation via a specific type of cryptocurrency in exchange for the information he possessed. "There is an opportunity to help balance scales of the world while also tending to my own needs" the affidavit noted.

In order to prove Dalke had access to sensitive information, he transmitted excerpts of three classified documents to the undercover FBI agent. One was classified at the Secret level and the other two were classified at the Top Secret level with classification markings.

Around August 26th, Dalke requested $85,000 in return for additional information in his possession and told the undercover FBI agent that he would share more information in the future once he returned to Washinton D.C.

Dalke was not employed by the NSA while communicating with the FBI agent but did re-apply in August.

Dalke is charged by criminal complaint alleging three violations of the Espionage Act, a crime to transmit or attempt to transmit NDI to a representative of a foreign nation with intent or reason to believe that information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation.

The Espionage Act carries a potential sentence of death or any term of years up to life.

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