Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

FBI alerted Canada in spy case: documents

  • Print

HALIFAX -- The RCMP began investigating a Halifax navy intelligence officer who later pleaded guilty to espionage after the FBI alerted them of a possible security breach, documents made public Thursday say.

Redacted versions of search warrants executed in the case of Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle, 41, were unsealed after the federal Crown consented to their release. The application to obtain the warrants was made by the CBC.

The warrants were used to obtain evidence against Delisle, who pleaded guilty last month to breach of trust and two charges of passing information to a foreign entity that could harm Canada's interests.

One of the documents says the RCMP opened an investigation into Delisle's activities after it received a letter from FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi notifying them of a possible security breach involving a Canadian military officer.

That letter was sent Dec. 2, 2011, about six weeks before Delisle was arrested.

"With this information, the RCMP's Integrated National Security Team opened an investigation," one of the documents unsealed Thursday says.

The portions of the documents that were released do not elaborate on how or when the FBI became aware of the security breach.

But they do indicate the RCMP heavily relied on information from Anthony Buckmeier, a Russian counter-espionage specialist who began working for the FBI in 1987.

"Given his vast experience in Russian counter-espionage, I believe the information supported by the opinion of Anthony M. Buckmeier is credible," says a warrant filed by the RCMP.

The documents say the RCMP set up phone taps from Montreal as they pursued their investigation into Delisle's activities. Delisle was arrested Jan. 13.

The documents also say Delisle received a total of 23 money transfers from July 6, 2007, to Aug. 1, 2011 from Moscow and Ireland.

During his bail hearing in March, the provincial court in Halifax heard Delisle walked into the Russian Embassy in Ottawa and offered to sell them information. Over the course of nearly five years, Delisle accepted money transfers from Russia in exchange for his services, the court was told.

There was a publication ban on evidence and arguments presented at the proceedings in the spring, but his guilty plea means there will not be a jury trial now. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10.

The Crown gave a detailed accounting during Delisle's bail hearing of how it alleged he transmitted the information from Trinity, a military intelligence centre in downtown Halifax, to his home and then on to Russian agents.

Delisle would search for Russian references on his work computer, transfer it to a USB key and take it to his home nearby before pasting it into an email program he shared with his foreign handler, the Crown said.

But at some point, the RCMP hacked into the email account Delisle shared with his Russian handler, the court heard. Delisle continued sending sensitive information through the account, unaware that the Mounties were receiving it.

He came to the attention of Canadian authorities in September 2011 when he returned from a trip he took by himself to Brazil with credit cards found in his luggage, according to the search warrants.

"As mentioned above by the FBI and expert witness Anthony M. Buckmeier, meetings between agents and informations (blacked out) take place in a country foreign to the informant," Canada Border Services Agency says in a report.

"The circumstances of this trip to Brazil lead me to believe Jeffrey Paul Delisle met a (blacked out) agent during his trip."

When he was arrested, Delisle was working as a threat-assessment analyst at Trinity, which provides tactical assessments to Canadian warships and aircraft, both at home and overseas.

The classified information he had access to was shared by the so-called Five Eyes group, which includes Canada, Great Britain, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

Delisle, who joined the navy as a reservist in 1996, became a member of the regular forces in 2001 and was promoted to an officer rank in 2008. He became the first person in Canada to be convicted under the Security of Information Act, which was passed by the House of Commons after the Sept. 11 attacks.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2012 A18

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

How Winnipeg's slow growth saved the Exchange District

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google