A former nuclear engineer officer in the U.S. Navy, Jonathan Toebbe, and his wife have been arrested on espionage charges, after supposedly endeavoring to offer insider facts about submarines to a foreign element.
The Department of Justice says; Jonathan Toebbe and his wife, Diana Toebbe, were arrested and accused of infringing the Atomic Energy Act. The division says, Toebbe spoke with FBI specialists and passed along delicate military information, in a plan that extended over a year.
The FBI says; the plan started in April 2020 when Jonathan Toebbe sent a package of naval force archives to an unknown government. He said that he was keen on selling tasks manuals, execution reports, and other delicate data.
The FBI office in the foreign country got the package, which had a return address of Pittsburgh. That prompted a months-long undercover activity where a specialist acting as a delegate of the unknown government offered to pay a huge chunk of money in digital currencies for the data Toebbe was providing.
The package contained U.S. Naval force archives, directions, and an SD card with more records and guidelines for utilizing an encrypted communication platform. Alongside a letter that expresses; “This data was gradually and carefully collected over course of my job to avoid attracting attention and smuggled past security checkpoints a few pages at a time,” Toebbe kept in touch with the spy, as per the reports; “I no longer have access to classified information so tragically can’t assist you with acquiring other documents.”
Nature of the job of Jonathan Toebbe
Toebbe was an employee at the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and had access to the data related to sensitive military components, including; operating parameters, and performance attributes of the reactors for nuclear-controlled warships.
Jonathan Toebbe has worked for the US government starting around 2012, holding a highly confidential trusted status and gaining practical experience in maritime nuclear propulsion, the FBI says. He was also allotted to a research center in the Pittsburgh region that authorities say deals with nuclear power for the US naval force.
Dead drop points approached by Jonathan Toebbe and his wife
Over a progression of exchanges, the F.B.I. convinced the sender to leave data at a dead drop as a trade-off for digital currency payments. The F.B.I. then noticed Mr. Toebbe and his significant other, Diana Toebbe, at the area of the drop, in West Virginia.
With Ms. Toebbe acting as a lookout, Mr. Toebbe left an SD card covered inside a large portion of a peanut butter sandwich in a plastic pack, as indicated by the court documents. After the spy recovered the sandwich, Mr. Toebbe received $20,000 in exchange.
Specialists then set up one more dead drop in Pennsylvania and a third in Virginia, where they said Mr. Toebbe kept an SD card hidden in a bundle of chewing gum. The card contains design elements and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors.
The court charged the couple with conspiracy to communicate restricted information and communication of confined data. The authorities scheduled them to show up in government court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Tuesday.