A couple in Annapolis, Maryland was arrested Saturday by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) on charges related to espionage according to federal authorities.
Nuclear engineer for the NAVY’s Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Jonathan Toebbe, along with his wife Diana, allegedly sold restricted information about the design of nuclear-powered naval vessels, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the documents, Jonathan Toebbe, who had top secret security clearance, as well as active Q clearance from the US Department of Energy (DOE), loaded restricted data onto SD cards and concealed them in half a peanut butter sandwich using a sealed Band-Aid wrapper and a chewing gum package. He then left the sandwiches at drop points in West Virginia, south-central Pennsylvania and eastern Virginia. He thought he was selling the data to a representative of a foreign power who actually an undercover FBI agent.
On Sunday, the Associated Press took a picture of a home they identified as the Toebbe’s, which prominently featured a Black Lives Matter Sign on the front lawn. The Marxist organization has been widely criticized for anti-capitalist ideology as well as encouraging the violent anarchist riots across the US in the summer of 2020 and seeking to defund law enforcement agencies across the country.
According to the complaint, on April 1, 2020, Jonathan sent a package to a foreign government with a sample of restricted data and instructions on how to buy more. He continued communicating for several months with someone he thought was a representative of the foreign government and came to an agreement with the undercover FBI agent to sell restricted data in exchange for thousands of dollars in the cryptocurrency Monero.
He allegedly made multiple "dead drops," on June 26 in West Virginia with Diana Toebbe allegedly acting as the lookout, July 31 in south-central Pennsylvania and August 28 in eastern Virginia, according to the complaint.
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe were arrested by the FBI in Jefferson County, West Virginia, on Saturday after Jonathan had placed another SD card in a pre-arranged "dead drop," according to the criminal complaint. The couple faces charges for alleged violations of the Atomic Energy Act and are scheduled for initial appearances Tuesday in federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
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