Air Force civilian employee charged with relaying classified intel on Ukraine on dating site

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A civilian employee of the U.S. Air Force has been charged with sharing classified information related to the Russia-Ukraine war on a foreign online dating website, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

The indictment alleges that David Franklin Slater, 63, transmitted National Defense Information (NDI) about the war in Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform and over email with an unidentified alleged female co-conspirator. He was arrested on Saturday for allegedly conspiring to transmit and transmitting classified information.

The indictment notes that Slater was a civilian employee assigned to the United States Strategic Command located in the District of Nebraska who had attended briefings on the war that were classified as up to top secret. Slater had retired as an Army Lieutenant Colonel around Dec. 31, 2020 and had worked in a classified space at the U.S. Strategic Command between August 2021 and April 2022, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors allege that despite signing a non-disclosure agreement in connection to the classified information, Slater transmitted the classified information to the woman — who was living in Ukraine — between February 2022 and April 2022.

According to the indictment, the co-conspirator allegedly called Slater “my secret informant love” and her “secret agent” in messages exchanged on the platform. The woman also told him “thanks for the valuable information” among her requests for more information, the indictment read.

Information he allegedly transmitted to her included intelligence on military targets and Russian military capabilities in connection to its invasion of Ukraine.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said Slater’s actions were a “blatant disregard for the security of his country and his oath to safeguard its secrets” in a statement.

“The Department of Justice will seek to hold accountable those who knowingly and willfully put their country at risk by disclosing classified information,” Olsen said.

Slater is set to make his first court appearance on Tuesday in the District of Nebraska, according to the Department of Justice.

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