Former Special Forces Captain Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins pleads guilty to espionage

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Debbins was a former Captain in the U.S. Army. - (Alexandria Sheriff's Office via AP)

Former Special Forces Captain Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins plead guilty to charges of espionage on Wednesday after being caught spying on behalf of Russian intelligence services from Dec. 1996-Jan. 2011.

During this same period, it is alleged that Debbins traveled to Russia on multiple occasions where he met with intelligence agents, developed a codename, and signed a document declaring his willingness to support Russia. These visits occurred before Debbins enlisted with the Army for active duty. Debbins reportedly has close ties to Russia as his mother is a former citizen of the Soviet Union.

Prior to being selected for the Green Berets, Debbins worked as an active-duty Army officer on chemical units from 1998-2005. According to the Department of Justice, Debbins did not apply to the Army as an officer out of his volition. Rather, Debbins was persuaded by Russian intelligence to do so. The investment paid off as Debbins eventually earned secret and top-secret security clearances over the course of his career, giving him access to highly sensitive information of grave importance to the United States.