Ex-Infosec Designer Sentenced to Over 21 Years in Prison

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, of Colorado Springs, was sentenced today to 262 months in prison for attempted espionage in connection with his efforts to transmit classified National Defense Information (NDI) to an agent of the Russian Federation.

According to the US Department of Justice, Dalke pleaded guilty in 2023 to six counts of attempting to transmit classified NDI to a foreign agent.

From June 6 to July 1, 2022, Dalke was an employee of the National Security Agency (NSA), where he served as an Information Systems Security Designer.

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Dalke admitted that between August and September 2022, to demonstrate his “legitimate access and willingness to share,” he used an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents to an individual he believed to be a Russian agent.

That person was an FBI online covert employee.

Consequences for Betraying Trust

“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,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “

This sentence demonstrates that those who seek to betray our country will be held accountable for their crimes.

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“FBI Director Christopher Wray echoed this sentiment, stating, “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.”

U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan for the District of Colorado emphasized the seriousness of Dalke’s actions, saying, “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 an attempt to injure our country and help a foreign government.”

Dalke’s attempt to sell classified information to Russia was ultimately thwarted by the FBI, who arrested him moments after he transmitted the files.

As part of his plea agreement, Dalke admitted to willfully transmitting the files with the intent and reason to believe the information would be used to injure the United States and benefit Russia.

The FBI Washington and Denver Field Offices investigated the case, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia K. Martinez and Jena R. Neuscheler for the District of Colorado and Trial Attorneys Christina A.

Clark and Adam L. Small of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section handling the prosecution.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at Cyber Security news covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.