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

Chilliwack pauses to remember

Services held special significance, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Early morning bagpipe playing at Chilliwack memorial on Nov. 11

Piper Greg McCormick taking part in international Battle’s Over tribute at Piper Richardson statue

Ask the Coach: Prepping BCHL players for the NCAA

Chilliwack Chiefs head coach Brian Maloney answers questions unfiltered in Ask the Coach.

Biggest blanket drive of the year starts Tuesday in Chilliwack

Realtors Care Blanket Drive keeping the most vulnerable warm in winter since 1995

Trudeau warns of dangers of nationalist leaders at historic armistice gathering

U.S. President Donald Trump in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Murder charge laid after ‘altercation’ at Port Coquitlam home

Jonathon Shingoose, 36, was rushed to hospital, but did not survive

Funding announcement promises to drive business innovation in B.C.

Minister is scheduled to make the announcement at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

Ticats destroy Lions 48-8 in CFL East Division semifinal

Wally Buono’s last game as B.C. coach ends in disappointment

Olympic decision time for Calgarians in 2026 plebiscite

Calgary’s ‘88 legacy is considered among the most successful in Olympic Games history

Police look for man accused in New Westminster poppy fund theft

Staff at the legion say a man grabbed the donation tin while paying for food

Canadians mark Remembrance Day, 100 years since end of First World War

The sombre crowd stood in near-silence as it reflected on the battles that ended a century ago, and those that have come since

Lest We Forget: Remembrance Day ceremonies across the Lower Mainland

Ceremonies are being held in Surrey, Vancouver, Langley and more

Most Read