Jareh Dalke: Former NSA employee charged with violating Espionage Act after trying to sell US secrets


A former National Security Agency employee was arrested Wednesday on espionage-related charges for allegedly trying to sell U.S. secrets, the Justice Department announced.

Jareh Dalke, 30, attempted to transfer classified national defense information (NDI) to a representative of a foreign government, the department said in a news release. He faces charges related to three violations of the Espionage Act and made his first court appearance on Thursday.

CNN has reached out to Dalke’s lawyers for comment.

The Colorado man, who worked at the NSA for less than a month as an information systems security designer, used an encrypted email to send excerpts of three classified documents to someone he believed to be a representative of a foreign government, according to an affidavit . The person was an undercover FBI agent.

The excerpts Dalke obtained while employed by the NSA related to threat assessments of a foreign government’s military offensive capabilities and “sensitive U.S. defense capabilities,” as well as a U.S. agency’s “plans to update a particular cryptographic program,” the statement said. .

Dalke left the NSA in early July, citing a situation with his family, and began corresponding with the undercover agent weeks later.

He provided the excerpts as a “small sample of what is possible” and soon after transmitted a classified document related to another US agency containing information about a foreign executive as “evidence of good faith”, it said in the declaration.

Days later, Dalke applied for an open position at the NSA, leading law enforcement to believe he may have “sought to access additional national defense information,” according to the affidavit.

The undercover agent transferred about $16,000 in cryptocurrency to Dalke after the initial information transfers, and Dalke requested $85,000 in exchange for all the information he possessed at the time.

The government said Dalke then arranged to transfer additional classified information to the undercover FBI agent at a location in Denver. When Dalke showed up Wednesday, the FBI arrested him.

Convictions under the Espionage Act carry sentences of up to life in prison or potential death sentences, the Justice Department said in its release.

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