COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A former National Security Agency employee faced a federal judge Thursday on the accusation of attempting to transmit classified information to a representative of a foreign government.
Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 30, was employed by the government agency from June 6-July 1 as an information systems security designer. A release from the NSA says, in part, “According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, between August and September 2022, Dalke used an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents he had obtained during his employment to an individual Dalke believed to be working for a foreign government. In actuality, that person was an undercover FBI agent.”
The affidavit says Dalke began encrypted email communications with the undercover FBI agent on July 29, offering classified information in return for a specific type of cryptocurrency. Dalke allegedly sent the agent excerpts from three classified documents — one labeled secret and two labeled top secret — in order to prove he actually had access to these documents.
“DALKE expressed his belief that the information in his possession would be of value to Foreign Government-1 because certain of the information specifically related to Foreign Government-1 and other information related to highly classified U.S. systems that Foreign Government-1 would be interested in,” the affidavit said.
The agent provided Dalke with approximately $4,918 worth of cryptocurrency and Dalke then requested another $85,000 for additional information, the release said. Dalke told the agent he was still employed by the NSA, even though he wasn’t and that he could get more classified information once he was back in Washington, D.C.
“In addition, in two emails on or about August 23 and 24, 2022, DALKE requested that the OCE take steps to verify that the person DALKE was communicating with was truly a member of Foreign Government-1. DALKE claimed that he had reached out through “multiple published channels to gain a response. This included submission to the SVR TOR site,” the affidavit read.
The footnote on the affidavit says SVR is “The SVR, or Foreign Intelligence Service, is the Russian government’s external intelligence agency. TOR, short for ‘The Onion Router,’ is an open-source software that conceals an internet user’s location and usage by directing Internet traffic through a relay network.”
Dalke agreed to send more information using a secure connection set up by the FBI at a public location in Denver, and that’s where he was arrested on Wednesday.
Dalke is charged with three violations of the Espionage Act, which can carry a sentence of death or any term of years up to life.
Who is Jareh Sebastian Dalke
The affidavit says that Dalke served as a volunteer with the Colorado Rangers, a volunteer law
enforcement reserve group, and that he is currently a lieutenant and commander of the Digital Crimes Unit in the group.
His skills listed, the affidavit said, are network intrusions, forensics, and information-system enabled fraud, and that he “has specialized training with federal law enforcement related to digital forensics and incident response, dark web investigations, open source intelligence, and advanced persistent threats.”
The affidavit says Dalke was a member of the U.S. Army from approximately 2015 to 2018 and served as an “E-3 Private First Class, Military Occupational Specialty 68W Health Care Specialist, and held a Secret security clearance, which he received in 2016.” His security clearance allowed him access to materials up to secret level.