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Colorado man accused of trying to pass secret documents to Russians

Former NSA employee from Colorado, charged with trying to send classified documents to Russia
Former NSA employee from Colorado, charged with trying to send classified documents to Russia 02:27

A Colorado Springs man, Jareh Dalke, is under arrest and facing espionage charges. Wearing a blue shirt and a black beard, Dalke, 30, did not flinch when Magistrate Reid Neureiter informed him the maximum penalty if convicted is life in prison or death.


It was a clandestine operation that played out in the lower part of Denver's downtown, at Union Station, on Corinth Street and in Colorado Springs on Wednesday.

Dalke is accused of trying to pass national defense secrets to a foreign country.

Unsealed court documents reveal  Dalke is a former employee of the National Security Agency and was previously in the US Army as a private. 

He thought he was dealing with an agent for Russia according to the FBI in an affidavit for an arrest warrant presented to a federal magistrate.


The documents Dalke is accused of wanting to pass in exchange for more than $80,000 were highly secretive classified defense information. He is quoted by the FBI as saying "There is an opportunity to help balance scales of the world while also tending to my own needs." He indicated his own ethnic background is tied to that country. Investigators decided Dalke was their suspect because he was the only one who had printed out all three of the documents presented to an undercover FBI agent posing as a foreign agent.

Legal Analyst Karen Steinhauser told CBS News Colorado the Espionage Act dates back to World War I and the penalty of death is intended to send a message, "The idea is to prevent individuals from cooperating from giving documents that could interfere with United States security to foreign powers."

The Colorado Rangers, which is a group that assists police, acknowledge that Dalke was a member of its organization. Chief Ronald Abramson said Dalke is suspended pending resolution of the case. He also said Dalke identified himself as a lieutenant with the digital crimes unit, but no such unit exists. Dalke is a sergeant and leads a small team of reserve officers. 


Abramson said Dalke has assisted Monument and Woodland Park police departments in the past. 

Chief Abramson added, "We are enormously disappointed in the allegations but we have to wait for the federal process to run its course."

A home listed to Dalke's address in Colorado Springs was searched as part of the operation. FBI agents could be seen entering and leaving the home on Wednesday. Dalke is due back in federal court on Oct. 5 for a detention hearing.

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