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Former U.S. Green Beret Charged In Russian Espionage Conspiracy


The case against Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins is the second U.S. Justice Department prosecution announced this week accusing a government or military official of transmitting U.S. secrets to a foreign adversary. (file photo)

U.S. federal prosecutors have charged a former U.S. Army Green Beret living in northern Virginia with spying for Russia from 1996 to 2011.

Prosecutors said on August 21 that Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 45, periodically visited Russia and met Russian intelligence agents.

In 1997, Debbins was even allegedly assigned a code name by Russian intelligence operatives and signed a statement saying that he wanted to serve Russia, according to prosecutors.

"When service members collude to provide classified information to our foreign adversaries, they betray the oaths they swore to their country and their fellow service members," said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia., whose office is prosecuting the case.

"As this indictment reflects, we will be steadfast and dogged in holding such individuals accountable."

The case against Debbins is the second U.S. Justice Department prosecution announced this week accusing a government or military official of transmitting U.S. secrets to a foreign adversary.

On August 17, the Justice Department said a former CIA officer had been arrested in the United States and charged with spying for China.

Based on reporting by AP
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