Former NSA Employee Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison For Attempted Espionage

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, a 32-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) employee, was sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison on Monday for attempting to sell classified information to an undercover FBI agent he believed was a Russian official. The sentencing hearing in Denver revealed that Dalke was motivated by his personal debt of $237,000 and disillusionment with the federal government.

Sworn testimony provided to the court showed that Dalke claimed he was seeking to “cause change” by providing classified information to Russian agents. Despite the defense’s plea for a 14-year sentence citing that the leaked information did not ultimately harm the United States, U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore opted for a stiffer penalty of 262 months calling it an act of “mercy.”

Dalke’s defense highlighted his complex psychological and emotional history including a traumatic brain injury, multiple suicide attempts, and childhood trauma. Dalke himself expressed remorse in court stating he was “remorseful and ashamed” and acknowledged suffering from various mental health disorders.

However, the judge was unmoved by those claims and noted for the record that the defendant failed to provide any medical or expert evidence to support his claims of medical disability. FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek testified at the sentencing hearing, emphasizing the grave national security risks that Dalke exposed the country to through his actions.