FBI arrests Maryland engineer and spouse for promoting restricted nuclear data

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Maryland couple on Saturday for trying to promote “restricted information” on the design of nuclear-powered warships, the Justice Division reported.

Jonathan Toebbe, 42, is a nuclear engineer on the Division of the Navy. For nearly a whole 12 months, he and his spouse, Diana, 45, bought data to an individual they believed was a consultant for an additional nation, who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, based on the Division of Justice .


“The grievance fees a plot to transmit data regarding the design of our nuclear submarines to a international nation,” stated Legal professional Common Merrick B. Garland. “The work of the FBI, Division of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Prison Investigative Service and the Division of Power was important in thwarting the plot charged within the grievance and taking this primary step in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Jonathan Toebbe despatched a bundle to the undercover FBI agent containing a pattern of “restricted information” in April 2020. Additionally included within the bundle had been directions for establishing a covert relationship to buy extra data. Toebbe started corresponding with the FBI agent, whom he believed to be a international consultant, by means of encrypted electronic mail, the DOJ reported.

Toebbe continued this correspondence for a number of months and made an settlement to promote “restricted information” in alternate for 1000’s of {dollars} in cryptocurrency.

On Jun. 8, the spy despatched $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe as a “good religion” fee. Shortly after, Toebbe and his spouse traveled to a location in West Virginia , the place they positioned an SD card hid inside half a peanut butter sandwich at a pre-arranged “useless drop” location for the “consultant” to recuperate, based on the DOJ.

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The couple and the FBI agent repeated this course of two extra instances, the primary on Aug. 28 and once more on Oct. 9. Every time the couple would obtain a “good religion” fee after which ship an SD card to a location in West Virginia, with the FBI agent recovering it and paying the couple extra money for an entry key to decrypt the SD card.

On their third go to to West Virginia, nonetheless, the FBI arrested the couple, the DOJ reported.

The Toebbes have been charged in a legal grievance alleging violations of the Atomic Power Act. They’ll have their preliminary appearances on Oct. 12, in federal courtroom in Martinsburg, West Virginia, per the DOJ.

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