A former Green Beret, Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, is accused of agreeing to be a Russian asset.
Deebbins, of Gainesville, Virginia, was arrested for conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to provide them with United States national defense information.
According to court documents, from December 1996 to January 2011, the 45-year-old Debbins, allegedly conspired with agents of a Russian intelligence service. During that time, Debbins periodically visited Russia and met with Russian intelligence agents. In 1997, Debbins was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a statement attesting that he wanted to serve Russia.
Over the course of the conspiracy, Debbins allegedly provided the Russian intelligence agents with information that he obtained as a member of the U.S. Army, including information about his chemical and Special Forces units. In 2008, after leaving active duty service, Debbins disclosed to the Russian intelligence agents classified information about his previous activities while deployed with the Special Forces.
Debbins also provided the Russian intelligence agents with the names of, and information about, his former Special Forces team members so that the agents could evaluate whether to approach the team members to see if they would cooperate with the Russian intelligence service.
Debbins is charged with conspiring to provide United States national defense information to agents of a foreign government. If convicted, Debbins faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.