Ex-NSA Employee Sentenced to Nearly 22 Years for Selling American Secrets to Undercover FBI Agent

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling

A former NSA employee who attempted to sell American secrets to the Russians was sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison Monday.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, of Colorado, pleaded guilty in October to six counts of attempting to transmit national defense information to a foreign government. 

He was sentenced to 262 months in prison.

“This defendant, who had sworn an oath to defend our country, believed he was selling classified national security information to a Russian agent, when in fact, he was outing himself to the FBI,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news release. “This sentence demonstrates that that those who seek to betray our country will be held accountable for their crimes. I am grateful to the FBI Denver and Washington Field Offices for their extraordinary work on this case.”

Dalke, who served as an information systems security designer for the NSA from June 6, 2022, to July 1, 2022, sold classified information to an undercover agent he believed to be a Russian official. 

“This sentence should serve as a stark warning to all those entrusted with protecting national defense information that there are consequences to betraying that trust,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “Dalke believed he was passing classified information to an agent of the Russian government. The hard work of our FBI employees prevented that from happening and any potential harm to the United States.”

In August 2022, Dalke asked for $85,000 for the information, saying it would be valuable to Russia. He also told the FBI agent that he would share information in the future, prosecutors said. 

“Two primary objectives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado include keeping our citizens safe, and safeguarding the United States of America,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said. “Not only is this case an exceptional example of federal law enforcement cooperation, but the sentence Mr. Dalke received today reflects the seriousness of the actions he took in attempt to injure our country and help a foreign government.”

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