Former NSA Employee Sentenced For Attempting To Sell Classified Information To Undercover FBI Agent

A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee, Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, was sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison on Monday in Denver for attempting to sell classified information to an undercover FBI agent he believed was a Russian official. U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore described Dalke’s actions as “blatant,” “brazen,” and “deliberate” during the sentencing hearing.

Dalke pleaded guilty to espionage charges last fall under a plea agreement with prosecutors. He was arrested after engaging in what he believed was an exchange with a Russian official who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

Despite the defense’s plea for a 14-year sentence, citing that the leaked information did not ultimately harm the United States, Judge Moore opted for a stiffer penalty of 262 months, calling it an act of “mercy.”

Sworn testimony revealed that Dalke was motivated by his personal debt of $237,000 and disillusionment with the federal government. He claimed he was seeking to “cause change” by providing classified information to Russian agents.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek testified at the sentencing hearing, stating, “He knew that the disclosure of those documents was expected to cause exceptionally grave danger to the national security of the United States.”

Dalke expressed remorse in court, acknowledging his struggles with various mental health disorders. However, the judge noted that the defendant failed to provide any medical or expert evidence to support his claims of medical disability.