FBI arrests nuclear engineer and wife on charges of espionage
Monday, October 11, 2021
In the United States on Saturday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the (NCIS) arrested a couple in West Virginia. Court documents released Sunday allege they tried to sell classified data to a foreign nation.
The Maryland couple, former nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe and his wife Diana Toebbe, were both arrested and charged with violating the . Mr. Toebbe worked on naval nuclear reactors and . Ms. Toebbe is a teacher at the private Key School in their neighborhood in , now on indefinite suspension according to the school.
said in regards to the case, "The complaint charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation." The (DOJ) alleges the couple tried to sell this information to a foreign agent who was actually an FBI .
Documents filed in federal court allege Mr. Toebbe arranged to sell restricted information to a foreign power identified only as "COUNTRY1" over several months via encrypted messages, and that he arranged "drops" of these data on SD cards in various locations in exchange for payments in.
At the first of the drops in West Virginia, the DOJ alleges Mr. Toebbe hid an SD card in a peanut butter sandwich while Ms. Toebbe acted as a lookout. At the second of these in eastern Virginia, the DOJ charges that an SD card was placed in a chewing gum package. Federal officers arrested the couple at the third drop site, in West Virginia, on Saturday.
Both Mr. and Ms. Toebbe are set to appear in federal court tomorrow in, West Virginia.
- Press Release: "Maryland Nuclear Engineer and Spouse Arrested on Espionage-Related Charges" — , October 10, 2021
- Dave Mistich. "A former Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested on espionage charges" — , October 10, 2021
- Julian E. Barnes, David E. Sanger, and Brenda Wintrode. "U.S. Navy Engineer Charged in Attempt to Sell Nuclear Submarine Secrets" — , October 10, 2021