An engineer who worked for decades as a federal defense contractor and now lives in Lead has been arrested on charges he tried to pass classified information to someone he thought was a Russian agent.
Instead, 63-year old John Murray Rowe Jr was dealing with an undercover FBI agent in an investigation after Rowe had been fired from his job for security violations and because he’d been identified as a potential insider threat.
Prosecutors say Rowe worked for nearly 40 years as a test engineer for defense contractors and held security clearances.
As part of the investigation, the undercover agent approached Rowe in March of last year, posing as a Russian agent. The indictment says Rowe traded more than 300 emails with the agent.
In one email listed in court records, he shared operational details about U-S fighter jets that were classified as secret and wrote in another “If I can’t get a job here, then I’ll go work for the other team.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office with assistance from the Minneapolis Field office and the Rapid City resident agent, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Lead Police Department, and the U-S Attorney’s Office.