A National Security Agency cyber expert, an army doctor, and his wife were each charged with attempting to sell US secrets to foreign countries on Thursday, although in different instances.
In one instance, 30-year-old cybersecurity specialist Jareh Sebastian Dalke worked at the NSA, the government’s expansive and powerful signals intelligence organization, for less than four weeks before abruptly leaving at the end of June, claiming family issues.
He printed top-secret papers during his brief time at the NSA, and when he left, he offered them for sale in encrypted internet contacts to someone he believed to be a foreign government representative.
But in reality, he was interacting with a covert FBI agent.
The Justice Department did not name the foreign country.
However, a court-filed FBI affidavit made a direct reference to Russia, claiming that Dalke was interacting via a dark web platform developed by the SVR, a Russian foreign intelligence organization, to entice leakers and traitors.
For proof that he possessed top secret information, Dalke received two first bitcoin payments totaling more than $4,900.
In addition, the allegations allege that Dalke had severe financial issues and had previously voiced discontent with American culture.
Dalke said he owed $237,000 in arrears and requested $85,000 for complete documentation.
He and the undercover agent planned for the electronic exchange of papers to take place in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday after he received another payment in cryptocurrencies for $11,422 worth.
Dalke was detained at the handover site and now faces three Espionage Act offenses.
He might get a death or life sentence if found guilty.
In a second instance made public on Thursday, Major Jamie Lee Henry, an anesthesiology lecturer at Johns Hopkins University who speaks Russian, and her wife Anna Gabrielian was accused of attempting to sell the health information of the US government and military people to Russia. But, again, they seemed to be driven by the conflict in Ukraine.
After Gabrielian phoned the Russian Embassy in Washington to offer the couple’s aid in August, an undercover FBI agent got in touch with her, claims the indictment.
According to the indictment, Gabrielian informed the agent at a meeting on August 17 that “she was driven by patriotism for Russia.”
According to the report, Henry reportedly informed the agent that she “was devoted to aiding Russia” and wanted to enlist in the Russian army in Ukraine.
She allegedly informed the agent, “The United States is exploiting Ukrainians as a proxy for their own enmity against Russia.”
The two face many counts of unlawfully exposing private health information and conspiracy charges.
Charges of conspiracy carry a maximum 20-year jail sentence.