Air Force Employee Charged with Sending Classified Information to a “Woman” he met on Dating Website

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What to Know:

The United States Department of Justice has charged David Franklin Slater, 63, a civilian Air Force employee assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), with sending classified information to a person claiming to be a Ukrainian woman he met on a foreign dating service.

The Case:

According to the Department of Justice, Slater, who had recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, was a civilian employee assigned to USSTRATCOM, where he “worked in a classified space at USSTRATCOM and held a Top Secret security clearance from in or around August 2021 until in or around April 2022.” During this time, Slater “attended USSTRATCOM briefings regarding Russia’s war against Ukraine that were classified up to TOP SECRET//SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION (TS//SCI).”

It is alleged that Slater “willfully, improperly, and unlawfully transmitted [National Defense Information] classified as SECRET” from those briefings on a “foreign online dating website’s messaging platform to his co-conspirator, who claimed to be a female living in Ukraine on the foreign dating website.”

“The co-conspirator regularly asked Slater to provide her with sensitive, non-public, closely held and classified NDI and called Slater in their messages her “secret informant love” and her “secret agent,” the Department added.

The identity of the “woman” remains unknown.

If convicted, Slater faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of conspiracy to transmit and the transmission of national defense information.