A former US specific forces captain has been arrested on fees of espionage, the US Office of Justice says.
Peter Debbins is alleged to have handed categorized info to the Russian armed service intelligence company (GRU) more than a time period of additional than 10 a long time.
A DoJ press release says through numerous visits to Russia in the 2000s he experienced make contact with with GRU agents, who realized him by the code name Ikar Lesnikov.
Capt Debbins, 45, faces everyday living imprisonment if convicted.
The Gainesville, Virginia, male is billed with conspiring to present US nationwide defence facts to brokers of a international authorities.
“Debbins violated his oath as a US Army officer, betrayed the particular forces and endangered our country’s nationwide security by revealing categorized facts to Russian intelligence officers, delivering specifics of his device, and determining specific forces workforce associates for Russian intelligence to test to recruit as a spy,” Assistant Lawyer Typical John Demers stated.
“Our state put its optimum believe in in this defendant, and he took that rely on and weaponised it from the United States.”
‘Son of Russia’
Capt Debbins’ mom was born in the previous USSR, the press release reported, and partly for this reason he formulated an desire in Russia, travelling there a lot of situations involving 1994 and 2010.
He married the daughter of a Russian armed service officer he satisfied in the town of Chelyabinsk in the 1990s.
The press release says he commonly expressed loyalty to Moscow to his Russian handlers and explained himself as a “son of Russia”.
“The Russian intelligence brokers allegedly encouraged him to join and pursue a occupation in the particular forces, which he did,” the DoJ explained.
He was on lively responsibility in the US Military from 1998 to 2005, serving in chemical models including in South Korea ahead of signing up for the distinctive forces as a captain in Germany in 2003.
A year later on he gained prime security clearance and was deployed to Azerbaijan, but was investigated for a protection violation and taken off from his command.
He gained an honourable discharge in November 2005 and served in the reserve until finally 2010.