A U.S. Navy engineer who allegedly hid restricted details about nuclear-powered submarines in a peanut-butter sandwich faces espionage-related expenses, in keeping with federal courtroom paperwork unsealed Sunday.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, was arrested Saturday in West Virginia on suspicion of conspiracy to speak restricted knowledge and different crimes, federal prosecutors within the state’s northern district mentioned in an announcement.
His spouse, Diana Toebbe, 45, a Maryland instructor, was additionally arrested on allegations that she assisted him.
In response to a legal criticism, Toebbe — who started working with the Navy in 2012 — allegedly despatched a package deal containing navy paperwork and different information to a navy intelligence company within the nation he was making an attempt to ascertain a relationship with.
The nation is just not recognized within the criticism, and the package deal wound up with an FBI attache there, the criticism says.
Starting in February, an undercover FBI agent started emailing Toebbe — who allegedly used the moniker “Alice” — via an encrypted messaging service. Within the following months Toebbe allegedly supplied the agent with paperwork containing restricted particulars about Virginia-class submarines, a nuclear-powered quick assault warship.
On June 26, FBI brokers watched Toebbe allegedly go away an SD card that had been wrapped in plastic and positioned in a peanut butter sandwich at a “useless drop” location in West Virginia, in keeping with the criticism. Throughout a separate drop, he allegedly used a Band-aid wrapper and a plastic bag to cover an SD card.
The paperwork accuse Diana Toebbe of serving to conduct surveillance to find out in the event that they have been being adopted.
By August 28, the FBI had paid Jonathan Toebbe $100,000 in Monero, a cryptocurrency, the paperwork say. The subsequent day, he allegedly emailed the particular person he believed was a international agent thanking the particular person for his or her partnership.
“Someday, when it’s secure, maybe two previous associates could have an opportunity to stumble into one another at a restaurant, share a bottle of wine and snort over tales of their shared exploits,” he allegedly wrote, including: “I’ll all the time keep in mind your bravery in serving your nation and your dedication to serving to me.”
It wasn’t instantly clear if Jonathan or Diana Toebbe have attorneys. Federal courtroom information didn’t record them.
The couple is scheduled to look in federal courtroom in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Tuesday.