Former NSA Contractor Sentenced for Espionage

Former NSA Contractor Sentenced for Espionage
Former NSA Contractor Sentenced for Espionage. Credit | AP

United States – A former National Security Agency agent who transferred the classified information to the FBI undercover officer he trusted to a Russian officer was punishable by almost 18 years of imprisonment, as suggested by prosecutors in the government.

Judge Condemns “Blatant Betrayal”

U.S. District Judge Joseph Moore explained his reasons why he couldn’t imprison Jareh Sebastian Dalke, a 32-year-old man, even longer: he called this “the mercy sentence” as, in his opinion, this was a premeditated action by a man who wanted to steal national security secrets and pass them on to America’s enemies, as reported by The Associated Press.

“This was blatant, brazen, and deliberate. It was a betrayal, and it was as close to treasonous as you can get,” Moore said.

Defense Cites Mental Health Issues

Dalke’s attorneys requested 14 years imprisonment for the admitted spying, among other reasons, the fact that he sold the information but never caused damage, as the information did not go to the hands of the enemy, which in turn caused the damage.

In addition, assistant federal public defender David Kraut proclaimed that these issues included traumatic brain injury, suicide attempts (four times), and witnessed domestic violence and drug intake. It has been researched and found that the childhood above trauma is among the risk factors for people’s engagement in risky activities, he added.

Claims of Mental Health Challenges

Having done it earlier, Dalke, who had said that he was remorseful and ashamed, now later told Moore that he also had PTSD, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

He denied that the desire to preserve secrets for ideology or material gain was his motivation. Except for Dalke, who assumed that he was still dealing with law enforcement, he got an idea of the risk that he is in now.

Moore said that he did not believe her stories since the defense was not able to provide any notary record or expert witness.

Details of Espionage

The court documents claimed that Dalke, a contractor who served for the NSA for a month or so and was $237,000 in debt, told the undercover FBI agent that he wanted to’ cause change’ after having questioned the role of the USA in the global area. He also confessed that he decided to cooperate with the Russians only because his origin ‘ties back to your country.’

At first, Dalke was given $16,499 in cryptocurrency for excerpts of particular documents that he sent to the agent to show what he had. Then, he made a proposal to sell the rest of the information he possessed, for $85,000, as attested by the plea agreement. Prosecutors argued that the amount of $85,000 is what he would have probably made as a member of the NSA per year.

The agent asked him to go to the downtown train station of Denver on Sept. 28, 2022, and digitally send the papers through a secure connection during a four-hour slot. The only thing that Dalke had with him was a laptop. He opened the letter first with Russian words and closed with “I look forward to our friendship and joint profit.” This is what his initial deal says. Seconds after, the FBI agents arrested him on his laptop transferring the files, as reported by The Associated Press.

Prosecutors Argue Grave National Security Risk

“He knew that the disclosure of those documents was expected to cause exceptionally grave danger to the national security of the United States,” said Michalek, who U.S. Attorney joined for Colorado Cole Finegan.