Convicted Canadian spy who sold secrets to Russia granted day parole

Jeffrey Delisle started selling Western military secrets to Russia in 2007, wasn’t caught until 2011

A former Canadian naval intelligence officer convicted of spying for Russia has been granted day parole and could be living in a halfway house this fall, the Parole Board of Canada said Wednesday.

Former junior navy officer Jeffrey Delisle was given day parole on Tuesday following a three-hour hearing at Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick.

He had been sentenced in 2013 to 20 years in prison.

Delisle started selling Western military secrets to Russia in 2007, but wasn’t caught until 2011 when the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation tipped off the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

He pleaded guilty to regularly passing classified western intelligence to Russia in exchange for cash. The judge presiding over the case said at the time that he would serve 18 years and five months behind bars because of time served.

A parole board spokeswoman said two board members presided over Tuesday’s hearing, determining that he was not likely to reoffend.

“All decisions are based on risk so if the parole board members feel that an offender can be released and not be a threat to society and won’t reoffend while on parole, then they do grant parole,” she said.

The parole is for a period of up to six months and takes effect in September, but that it may begin later depending on bed availability at the unnamed facility.

The spokeswoman, who didn’t want her name used, said Delisle has to live at the halfway house and is under direct supervision by a parole officer. He will have to report back to the halfway house every night, she said.

She would not reveal the location of the halfway house.

Provincial court Judge Patrick Curran said at sentencing that Delisle “coldly and rationally” offered his services to Russia, who valued his work. Curran also ordered Delisle to pay a fine of nearly $111,817 — the amount he collected from his Russian bosses.

Delisle, who was 41 when he was sentenced, was arrested in January 2012 and became the first person to be charged under the Security of Information Act. That law was passed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

In an agreed statement of facts, Delisle admitted that his treachery began when he walked into the Russian embassy in Ottawa in July 2007 and offered his services for money.

He was going through a period of emotional turmoil; his marriage had broken up and he was going through financial difficulties.

For years, he funnelled classified information to the Russians for monthly payments of about $3,000.

The naval threat assessment analyst used floppy discs and memory sticks to smuggle information out of Halifax’s HMCS Trinity, the military all-source intelligence centre on the East Coast.

He then took the information home and copied it into an email address that he shared with his Russian agent so he never had to send the email.

But he came under suspicion after returning in September 2011 from a trip to Brazil, where he met a Russian agent named Victor who told him that he would become a “pigeon” or liaison for all Russian agents in Canada.

Authorities intercepted two messages in January 2012 that Delisle tried to pass on to the Russians, and he was arrested soon afterwards.

The case raised serious security questions, including whether shared intelligence from Canada’s allies — notably the United States — had fallen into Russian hands.

In 2014, Moscow’s outgoing envoy to Ottawa, Georgiy Mamedov, told The Canadian Press that they learned nothing of value from Delisle.

Delisle 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.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tofino shops set to sparkle during weekend’s Jingle Into Christmas celebration

“It’s like a family reunion. It’s nice to see the locals’ faces.”

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

Surfrider Pacific Rim hopes unique wetsuit recycling program stays local to the Coast

“We really want to see someone locally or regionally take this on and use this material locally.”

Residents push back against renaming Ucluelet Secondary School

“We are just fine thanks, put the money into our children’s education.”

Local businesses step up in light of Christmas tree shortage in Tofino and Ucluelet

“I’m one of those ones where I’m really tenacious and I don’t like letting people down.”

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read