According to federal court filings, the FBI detained and charged a man from Colorado Springs with attempting to provide confidential documents to the Russian foreign service.
According to a report by CBS News, the 30-year-old Jareh Sebastian Dalke was due to appear in federal court in Denver on Thursday afternoon on allegations of trying to give a foreign official or agent access to information about national defense.
Although he was charged last month, court records weren't released to the public until this week. They claim Dalke exchanged cash for confidential data and transmitted them to an "FBI Online Covert Employee." Dalke thought the FBI agent was a representative of a foreign nation.
He is charged with trying to provide top secret information to the Russian SVR, or Foreign Intelligence Service.
According to the FBI, Dalke was a former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency and a volunteer with the Colorado Rangers, a reserve law enforcement organization. Court records indicate that Dalke identified himself as a lieutenant and commander of the Colorado Rangers' digital crimes division in his resume.
Dalke had been connected to the Colorado Rangers' reserve force, which comprises little over 70 reserve officers, according to Colonel Ronald M. Abramson, agency chief for the Colorado Rangers.
The agent joined the Rangers in 2019 after completing a thorough background investigation and psychiatric test: "We are enormously disappointed in the allegations, but we have to wait for the federal process to run its course," he told CBS News Colorado.
He claimed that everyone is learning about this at the same time as his agency. Dalke has been placed on leave while the matter is being resolved.
According to Abramson, Dalke claimed to be a lieutenant in their digital crimes unit, but there is no such unit. Dalke, he continued, is a sergeant who oversees a small group of reserve officers. Dalke was stationed in Colorado Springs and had previously worked for the police departments in Monument and Woodland Park.
Dalke allegedly sought out a person he believed to be a Russian agent in his interactions with the FBI's undercover agent, saying he "recently learned that my heritage ties back to your country, which is part of why I have come to you."
He reportedly explained his reasoning for wanting to share documents from the NSA and at least two other American federal agencies, saying he "questioned our role in damage to the world in the past and by a mixture of curiosity for secrets and a desire to cause change."
According to court filings, some of the information Dalke is suspected of providing was unclassified, while other information was marked "secret" and "top secret." Some of them are specifically marked "NOFORN," which means that distributing them to people who are not U.S. citizens is against the law.
According to the FBI, the NSA conducted an internal assessment to identify who had access to the documents supplied to the undercover FBI agent, and it found that Dalke was the only employee.
If found guilty, Dalke could be sentenced to death or life in prison. As of Thursday, neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney's Office would return the media's request for comment on the situation.