Navy engineer accused of trying to pass intel in peanut butter sandwich

A U.S. Navy engineer who allegedly hid restricted details about nuclear-powered submarines in a peanut-butter sandwich faces espionage-related costs, in response to 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 trainer, was additionally arrested on allegations that she assisted him.

In response to a felony criticism, Toebbe — who started working with the Navy in 2012 — allegedly despatched a bundle 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 will not be recognized within the criticism, and the bundle 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” — by an encrypted messaging service. Within the following months Toebbe allegedly offered 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 response to 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 overseas agent thanking the particular person for his or her partnership.

“Someday, when it’s protected, maybe two previous mates may have an opportunity to stumble into one another at a restaurant, share a bottle of wine and snicker 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 legal professionals. Federal courtroom information didn’t record them.

The couple is scheduled to seem in federal courtroom in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Tuesday.

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