DENVER (AP) — A former National Security Agency employee from Colorado is charged with trying to sell classified information to a foreign government.
Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 30, was arrested Wednesday after allegedly passing on information to an undercover FBI agent he believed was a representative of an unnamed foreign government, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
Dalke, of Colorado Springs, worked for the NSA, the U.S. intelligence agency that collects and analyzes signals from foreign and domestic sources for the purpose of intelligence and counterintelligence, as an information systems security designer for less than a month this summer, the department said.
According to his arrest affidavit, Dalke began communicating by encrypted email with the undercover agent around July 29, 2022 saying he had taken highly sensitive information related to the foreign targeting of U.S. systems and information on U.S. cyber operations, among other things.
To prove he had access to the information, he sent excerpts of three classified documents — one labeled as secret and the other two classified as top secret — and was paid for the information in a requested amount of cryptocurrency, the Justice Department said. He was arrested after showing up to to transmit more information using a secure connection at a public location in Denver, after requesting $85,000 for it, the department said.
Dalke, who is charged with three violations of the Espionage Act, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Denver Thursday. It was not known if he has a lawyer representing him yet.
The case is the latest prosecution involving a government worker accused of trying to pass classified information to someone they thought was a foreign government representative. Jonathan Toebbe, a Navy nuclear engineer, was arrested along with his wife, Diana, in October 2021 on charges of trying to sell submarine secrets to a foreign government. Both have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.