WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department says an engineer who worked for decades as a federal defense contractor has been arrested on charges of trying to pass classified information to someone he thought was a Russian agent but who was actually an undercover FBI employee.

The FBI conducted an undercover operation against 63-year-old John Murray Rowe Jr., of Lead, after being alerted that Rowe had been fired from his job for security violations and because he had been identified as a potential insider threat.

Rowe had worked for decades as a federal defense contractor.

Court records don’t list a lawyer for Rowe. He’s due in federal court in South Dakota on Friday.

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