Retired lieutenant colonel charged with passing classified info via dating site: 'My secret informant love'

The United Department of the Air Force emblem is seen on a monument in Streator, Illinois, United States, on October 15, 2022. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A civilian U.S. Air Force employee is charged with transmitting classified information about Russia's war with Ukraine on a foreign online dating platform.

David Franklin Slater, of Nebraska, was arrested on March 2 for allegedly transmitting the information between February and April 2022, according to the Department of Justice

The 63-year-old will make his first court appearance Tuesday in the District of Nebraska. 

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Slater attended briefings on Russia’s war against Ukraine that were classified, and he allegedly transmitted the information through a foreign online dating site's messaging platform to a co-conspirator, who claimed to be a woman living in Ukraine. 

According to charging documents, the alleged co-conspirator asked Slater for information and called him in their messages her "secret informant love" and her "secret agent."

Slater provided information to her, including military targets and Russian military capabilities related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Justice Department noted. 

If Slater is convicted, he 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. 

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.