A former Green Beret was arrested on Friday and faces charges related to conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives.
45-year-old Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins of Gainesville, Virginia, is accused of giving Russian spies secrets about his U.S. Army commands and even the names of other special forces troops to try to recruit them.
The ex-Green Beret from northern Virginia, allegedly conspired with Russian operatives and providing them with sensitive information from December 1996 to January 2011, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
The Justice Department alleges that over a 15-year period ending in January 2011, Debbins periodically visited Russia and met with Russian intelligence agents.
Justice says Russian agents gave Debbins a code name in 1997 and signed a statement indicating he wanted to serve Russia. He is charged with conspiring to provide U.S. national defense information to agents of a foreign government, according to Debbins’s indictment.
Debbins made several statements and signed missives that mentioned he wanted to “serve Russia” and that he was a “son of Russia.” He rose to the rank of captain and was eventually honorably discharged from the military in 2008.
Debbins’s mother was born in the Soviet Union, and he met his spouse in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, where they were married in 1997. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.