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Air Force Employee Indicted for Unlawful Disclosure of Classified National Defense Information

David Franklin Slater, a 63-year-old civilian employee of the U.S. Air Force assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base, was arrested on Saturday, March 2, for allegedly conspiring to transmit and transmitting classified information related to national defense on a foreign online dating platform. The alleged transmission of classified information took place between February and April 2022.

Slater, who held a Top Secret security clearance from August 2021 until April 2022 after retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army, is accused of willfully and unlawfully transmitting classified “SECRET” information to a person not authorized to receive such information on a foreign online dating platform. The information, if used, could potentially harm the United States or benefit a foreign nation.

According to the charging documents, Slater attended USSTRATCOM briefings on Russia’s war against Ukraine, which were classified up to TOP SECRET//SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION (TS//SCI). He then allegedly transmitted the classified information he learned from these briefings to his co-conspirator, who claimed to be a woman living in Ukraine, via the dating website’s messaging platform. The co-conspirator reportedly referred to Slater as her “secret informant love” and “secret agent” and regularly requested sensitive, non-public, and classified information from him. In response, Slater provided classified information, including details about military targets and Russian military capabilities related to the invasion of Ukraine.

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. The case is being investigated by the FBI Omaha Field Office and Air Force Office of Special Investigations, with prosecution handled by the District of Nebraska and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.