A former US particular forces captain has been arrested on prices of espionage, the US Section of Justice states.
Peter Debbins is alleged to have handed classified info to the Russian armed service intelligence company (GRU) over a time period of much more than 10 many years.
A DoJ push launch says during numerous visits to Russia in the 2000s he had speak to with GRU agents, who knew him by the code name Ikar Lesnikov.
Capt Debbins, 45, faces existence imprisonment if convicted.
The Gainesville, Virginia, gentleman is billed with conspiring to deliver US national defence information and facts to brokers of a overseas governing administration.
“Debbins violated his oath as a US Army officer, betrayed the special forces and endangered our country’s national security by revealing classified details to Russian intelligence officers, offering facts of his device, and determining particular forces staff users for Russian intelligence to attempt to recruit as a spy,” Assistant Attorney Common John Demers said.
“Our place put its greatest belief in this defendant, and he took that trust and weaponised it against the United States.”
‘Son of Russia’
Capt Debbins’ mother was born in the former USSR, the push launch stated, and partly for this rationale he produced an fascination in Russia, travelling there numerous periods concerning 1994 and 2010.
He married the daughter of a Russian navy officer he satisfied in the metropolis of Chelyabinsk in the 1990s.
The press launch says he often expressed loyalty to Moscow to his Russian handlers and explained himself as a “son of Russia”.
“The Russian intelligence agents allegedly inspired him to join and pursue a career in the special forces, which he did,” the DoJ reported.
He was on active obligation in the US Army from 1998 to 2005, serving in chemical models including in South Korea ahead of joining the particular forces as a captain in Germany in 2003.
A calendar year later on he obtained top security clearance and was deployed to Azerbaijan, but was investigated for a security violation and eliminated from his command.
He obtained an honourable discharge in November 2005 and served in the reserve till 2010.