Espionage to pay off student loan: Former NSA employee arrested trying to pass info to foreign government


A Colorado Springs man who was employed by the National Security Agency used an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents to someone he thought was working for an unnamed foreign government.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, who was an Army veteran and known to speak both Spanish and Russian, sent documents he had accessed during his employment to an individual who turned out to be an FBI undercover agent. Dalke was trying to trade the information for cryptocurrency.

“To prove he had access to sensitive information, Dalke transmitted excerpts of three classified documents to the undercover FBI agent,” said a news release from the Department of Justice. “Each excerpt contained classification markings. One excerpt was classified at the Secret level, and two excerpts were classified at the Top Secret level. In return for this information, the FBI undercover agent provided the requested cryptocurrency to an address Dalke provided.”

Dalke told the undercover agent that he had taken highly sensitive information relating to foreign targeting of U.S. systems and information on U.S. cyber operations, among other topics.

“At that time, Dalke reported that he had approximately $32,809.52 in student loan debt and $50,987.34 in other non-secured debt, primarily credit card debt,” the FBI agent’s affidavit says. “At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Dalke also reported that he had approximately $8,373.12 in total assets.”

“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 requested compensation via a specific type of cryptocurrency in exchange for the information he possessed and stated that he was in financial need,” the Department of Justice said.

Dalke faces charges of the Espionage Act, which could carry a death penalty or life in prison.


  1. Sounds like a criminal way to resolve debt, if that was what he was doing, and not seeking to launch a career in crime.

  2. It appears the FBI is attempting to clean up their image! This is the third espionage case against Americans in which an FBI agent entrapped stupid & gullible people. I mean it is not like any classified documents actually made it into our enemies’ hands, although it is probably a a good thing that these people will be removed from their access to sensitive information. Would have been a much bigger feather in the FBI’s hat though, if they actually caught someone attempting to pass information to a foreign spy and not an FBI agent posing as one.

  3. College isn’t worth any person’s time to carry a debt load today. Pick a vocation where its education cost is 8000-16000 or less for one year training. Then
    Be happy. Eventually you’ll work your way up w/o college. That was how my relatives started their profession from job to career in the 1980s.

    • How was Donald Trump a traitor? Secure borders, affordable fuel prices, plenty of baby formula, N Korea not firing any missiles, Russia not invading other countries, low unemployment (especially for minorities) the list goes on….Yup, tough times under the orange man.

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