ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former CIA officer has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for leaking details of a secret mission to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Jeffrey Sterling of O'Fallon, Missouri, was facing a recommended sentence of 20 years or more under federal sentencing guidelines for violations of the Espionage Act.
A jury convicted him of telling New York Times journalist James Risen about a classified plan to trick the Iranian government by slipping flawed nuclear blueprints through a Russian intermediary.
Prosecutors were seeking a stiff sentence at Monday’s hearing in federal court in Alexandria.
The defense said his punishment should be more in line with that of former CIA Director David Petraeus. Petraeus got probation last month for leaking classified information to his biographer, who was also his mistress.