Couple Charged with Attempting to Sell Nuclear Sub Secrets Appear in Court, Remain in Custody for Now
Jonathan Toebbe and Diana Toebbe
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority / AP / Shutterstock Jonathan and Diana Toebbe
The Maryland couple, who are accused of a sophisticated espionage plan with US nuclear submarine secrets, will remain behind bars for the time being, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, who were taken into custody Saturday, appeared in federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, records show.
Both Jonathan, 42, and Diana, 45, have been charged with conspiracy to transfer restricted data and share restricted data. (No one has brought charges against them. Their lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)
Prosecutors allege in court documents that Jonathan, a nuclear engineer who lives in Annapolis and works for the Navy, with the help of his wife, sent information about the "design of nuclear-powered warships" to someone they believed was a representative was a foreign power. "
There was no representative - instead, prosecutors said the recipient was an undercover FBI agent.
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority / AP / Shutterstock Jonathan Toebbe
On Tuesday, Judge Robert Trumble ordered the couple to remain in custody pending a hearing later this week, when prosecutors and defense attorneys will come up with more elaborate arguments, the court records show.
During the undercover operation, Jonathan allegedly said he would accept $ 100,000 worth of cryptocurrencies in order to gain access to restricted government documents.
In June he said he was "ready to move the deal forward," prosecutors claim.
The FBI said agents saw Jonathan drop documents at an agreed location in Jefferson County, West Virginia. The agency identified him as a nuclear engineer with an active top secret security clearance from the Department of Defense and an active Q clearance from the Department of Energy.
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority / AP / Shutterstock Diana Toebbe
According to the criminal complaint, Jonathan's wife is said to have stood "about three feet away" from her husband during the death and appeared to act as a lookout.
After the couple left, prosecutors said the FBI found an SD card that Jonathan had placed on the spot. It was hidden in a peanut butter sandwich wrapped in plastic bags, court documents say.
According to the Associated Press, Judge Trumble said Tuesday that if convicted, both Jonathan and Diana face life imprisonment.
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