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Virginia man charged with leaking classified intel to journalists

Henry Kyle Frese, 30, a defense official, was arrested Wednesday in Virginia.
Credit: DIA
Defense Intelligence Agency

WASHINGTON — A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) official was arrested Wednesday for his alleged disclosure of classified national defense information to two journalists, one of whom he was allegedly dating, according to the Department of Justice. 

Henry Kyle Frese, 30, of Alexandria is a DIA employee with a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. Frese allegedly accessed classified intelligence reports regarding a foreign country's weapons systems between April and May, 2018, and shared the information with a journalist. He had the same residential address as the journalist from August 2017-August 2018, and reviews of his social media accounts indicate they were dating. 

The indictment said that the journalist Frese was involved with wrote to him on April 27, 2018 to ask if he would speak to another journalist. Frese allegedly responded he was “down” to speak to to the second journalist if it helped the first journalist because he wanted to see the first journalist “progress.”

A grand jury indicted Frese on October 8 with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each count. 

"Frese allegedly violated that trust, the oath he swore to uphold, and is charged with engaging in dastardly and felonious conduct at the expense of our country," G. Zachary Terwilliger, attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said. "This indictment should serve as a clear reminder to all of those similarly entrusted with National Defense Information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic, it is criminal."

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