DENVER — A Colorado Springs man and former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who is deeply in debt is accused of attempting to sell classified information to a foreign government, according to a federal criminal complaint.
According to the document, Jareh Dalke,30, contacted a covert FBI employee and later sent that FBI employee excerpts from three classified documents in exchange for payments in cryptocurrency.
Each excerpt contained classification markings. One excerpt was classified at the Secret level, and two excerpts were classified at the Top Secret level. The alleged crimes occurred in Colorado between Aug. 1 and Sept. 26 of this year.
Dalke represented to the undercover FBI agent that he was still employed by the U.S. government but said he was on a temporary assignment at a field location.
Dalke was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday and is due in federal court in Denver on Thursday afternoon. Dalke faces three counts of attempting to transmit national defense information to an officer or agent of a foreign government.
He gained access to the documents while an NSA employee, the complaint says. Dalke worked there between June 6 and July 1, at which time he resigned, saying that he needed to take family leave, according to the complaint.
NSA records indicate that several employees had accessed those particular records but only Dalke had printed them.
Prior to working at the NSA, Dalke was a member of the military who had top secret clearance. In addition, the complaint says, Dalke maintained "sensitive compartmented access" to other highly classified information.
In one communication with the FBI employee made on Aug. 26, Dalke wrote that he was in debt for a total of $237,000 and about $93,000 of that debt was "coming due very soon."
He requested $85,000 for all of the information he had in possession and expressed the belief that the information he had would be of value to a foreign government, which is only identified as "foreign government-1" in the document.
Dalke later said he was concerned about his travel being monitored and suggested a meeting with the FBI at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver or City Park to take place on Sept. 28 or 29.
The FBI made arrangements to allow Dalke to transmit the information through a secure connection from near Union Station and was monitoring it, the complaint says.
The FBI arrested Dalke on Sept. 28, after Dalke arrived at that specified location.
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