A former US particular forces captain has been arrested on prices of espionage, the US Division of Justice says.
Peter Debbins is alleged to have handed categorized info to the Russian army intelligence company (GRU) over a interval of greater than 10 years.
A DoJ press release says during several visits to Russia in the 2000s he had contact with GRU agents, who knew him by the code identify Ikar Lesnikov.
Capt Debbins, 45, faces life imprisonment if convicted.
The Gainesville, Virginia, man is charged with conspiring to supply US nationwide defence info to brokers of a international authorities.
“Debbins violated his oath as a US Military officer, betrayed the particular forces and endangered our nation’s nationwide safety by revealing categorized info to Russian intelligence officers, offering particulars of his unit, and figuring out particular forces crew members for Russian intelligence to attempt to recruit as a spy,” Assistant Legal professional Common John Demers stated.
“Our nation put its highest belief on this defendant, and he took that belief and weaponised it towards the USA.”
‘Son of Russia’
Capt Debbins’ mom was born within the former USSR, the press launch stated, and partly because of this he developed an curiosity in Russia, travelling there quite a few occasions between 1994 and 2010.
He married the daughter of a Russian army officer he met within the metropolis of Chelyabinsk within the 1990s.
The press launch says he regularly expressed loyalty to Moscow to his Russian handlers and described himself as a “son of Russia”.
“The Russian intelligence brokers allegedly inspired him to hitch and pursue a profession within the particular forces, which he did,” the DoJ stated.
He was on lively obligation within the US Military from 1998 to 2005, serving in chemical items together with in South Korea earlier than becoming a member of the particular forces as a captain in Germany in 2003.
A 12 months later he obtained high safety clearance and was deployed to Azerbaijan, however was investigated for a safety violation and faraway from his command.
He obtained an honourable discharge in November 2005 and served within the reserve till 2010.