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Ex-NSA Employee Who Tried Spying for Russia Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

The National Security Agency

A cyber specialist who briefly worked at the top secret U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison on Monday for attempting to spy for Moscow, the Justice Department said.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, spent less than four weeks working at the NSA, the U.S. government's signals intelligence agency, before he suddenly quit at the end of June 2022 citing family problems.

In the few weeks that he worked at the NSA, Dalke printed out top secret documents, and after leaving, he offered to sell them for $85,000 to an individual he believed was a Russian agent, according to court documents. 

However, the individual offering to buy the documents was an undercover FBI agent.

In October, Dalke, who is from Colorado Springs, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to six counts of attempting to transmit classified national defense information to an agent of a foreign government.

"This defendant, who had sworn an oath to defend our country, believed he was selling classified national security information to a Russian agent, when in fact, he was outing himself to the FBI," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

"This sentence demonstrates that those who seek to betray our country will be held accountable for their crimes."

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