Air Force employee charged with sharing classified info on Russia’s war with Ukraine on dating site

FILE - The atrium of C2F, US Strategic Command's new command and control facility at Offutt AFB in Neb., is seen before its dedication ceremony in honor of General Curtis E. LeMay Nov. 18, 2019. The Justice Department says a civilian U.S. Air Force employee has been charged in federal court in Nebraska with transmitting classified information about Russia's war with Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

FILE – The atrium of C2F, US Strategic Command’s new command and control facility at Offutt AFB in Neb., is seen before its dedication ceremony in honor of General Curtis E. LeMay Nov. 18, 2019. The Justice Department says a civilian U.S. Air Force employee has been charged in federal court in Nebraska with transmitting classified information about Russia’s war with Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A civilian U.S. Air Force employee has been charged in federal court in Nebraska with transmitting classified information about Russia’s war with Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform, the Justice Department said Monday.

David Franklin Slater, 63, who authorities say retired as an Army lieutenant colonel and was assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, was arrested Saturday on charges of illegally disclosing national defense information and conspiring to do so.

Prosecutors say Slater attended briefings between February and April 2022 about Russia’s war with Ukraine and, despite having signed paperwork pledging not to disclose classified information, shared details about military targets and Russian capabilities on an online messaging platform with an unindicted co-conspirator who claimed to be a woman living in Ukraine.

According to an indictment, that alleged co-conspirator, who is not identified by prosecutors, repeatedly asked Slater for information and described him as “my secret informant love.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Slater had a lawyer. He is due to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

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