Nuclear Engineer and Wife Plead Not Guilty to Trying to Sell Restricted Navy Data to Foreign Government

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A U.S. Navy atomic technologist and his woman pleaded not guilty connected Wednesday to nationalist information charges aft they were accused of attempting to sell Navy secrets to a overseas government.

Jonathan, 42, and Diana Toebbe, 45, from Annapolis, Maryland, appeared successful abstracted hearings at Martinsburg national tribunal successful West Virginia connected Wednesday, a time aft the Department of Justice announced indictments for conspiracy to pass restricted information and 2 counts of connection of restricted data.

Both of them pleaded not guilty. They look up to beingness successful situation if convicted.

Jonathan Toebbe waived his close to a detention proceeding and was ordered to stay successful custody pending trial.

The mates was arrested by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) connected Oct. 9, pursuing a sting operation.

Tuesday’s indictment alleges that for astir an full year, both Jonathan and his woman sold information known arsenic “restricted data” concerning the plan of nuclear-powered warships to a idiosyncratic they believed was a typical of a overseas power.

However, the alleged typical was really an undercover FBI agent. Prior to this, the Toebbes had been charged successful a transgression ailment alleging violations of the Atomic Energy Act.

Jonathan was employed successful the Navy wherever helium served arsenic a atomic technologist and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, besides known arsenic Naval Reactors.

He held an progressive nationalist information clearance done the U.S. Department of Defense, which granted him to entree restricted data, including accusation concerning atomic programs specified arsenic sensitive design elements, operating parameters, and show characteristics of the reactors for nuclear-powered warships.

The indictment alleges that connected April 1, 2020, Jonathan Toebbe sent a bundle to a overseas government, listing a instrumentality code successful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which contained a illustration of restricted day on with instructions connected however to found a mode to acquisition further restricted date.

However, the bundle intended for a overseas entity was alternatively picked up by an FBI agent, NPR reports, citing tribunal documents, which notation the state as “COUNTRY1.”

“The bundle contained U.S. Navy documents, a missive containing instructions, and an SD paper containing circumstantial instructions connected however COUNTRY1 should respond utilizing an encrypted connection platform, and further documents,” investigators said successful a tribunal filing.

“I apologize for this mediocre translation into your language. Please guardant this missive to your subject quality agency,” the letter, handed implicit to the FBI, stated. “I judge this accusation volition beryllium of large worth to your nation. This is not a hoax.”

Tuesday’s indictment goes connected to allege that aft sending the package, Jonathan began corresponding with the person helium believed was a typical of a overseas powerfulness utilizing an encrypted email. The email correspondence continued for respective months until it was yet agreed that helium would merchantability the restricted information for thousands of dollars successful cryptocurrency.

U.S. Navy technologist  Jonathan Toebbe and his woman  Diana look   espionage charges successful  West Virginia In this courtroom sketch, erstwhile U.S. Navy technologist Jonathan Toebbe appears for his archetypal tribunal proceeding connected charges that helium and his woman Diana attempted to merchantability secrets astir atomic submarines to a overseas powerfulness successful speech for cryptocurrency, is seen successful Martinsburg, West Virginia, connected Oct. 12, 2021. (Bill Hennessey/Reuters)
Epoch Times Photo Diana Toebbe appears successful this courtroom sketch for her archetypal tribunal proceeding connected charges that she and her husband, erstwhile U.S. Navy technologist Jonathan Toebbe, attempted to merchantability secrets astir atomic submarines to a overseas powerfulness successful speech for cryptocurrency, astatine a courthouse successful Martinsburg, West Virginia, connected Oct. 12, 2021. (Bill Hennessey/Reuters)

In June, the undercover cause sent $10,000 successful cryptocurrency to Jonathan Toebbe arsenic “good faith” outgo and successful that aforesaid month, Jonathan and his woman traveled to West Virginia wherever they proceeded to spot an SD paper concealed wrong a peanut food sandwich astatine an arranged drop-off location. Diana allegedly served arsenic a “lookout” during the drop-off.

The undercover cause retrieved the SD paper and sent the mates a further $20,000 cryptocurrency payment. The mates past emailed the undercover cause a decryption cardinal for the SD Card.

Officials reviewed the SD paper and discovered it contained restricted information relating to submarine atomic reactors.

Months aboriginal successful August, the mates dropped different SD paper into a drop-off location, this clip concealing it wrong of a chewing gum package. They received another $70,000 successful cryptocurrency from the FBI agent, who was again sent a decryption cardinal for the card.

That SD paper besides contained restricted information relating to submarine atomic reactors.

The FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) arrested Jonathan and Diana Toebbe connected Oct. 9, aft helium placed yet different SD paper astatine a 2nd pre-arranged determination constituent successful West Virginia.

Lawyers for Diana connected Wednesday argued that she was unaware oregon had small cognition that her hubby had been stealing classified accusation from the navy and attempting to merchantability it to a overseas country.

Special Agent Peter Olinits said that the FBI has not been capable to find the $100,000 successful cryptocurrency that it gave the defendants as portion of the sting operation, NPR reports.

The authorities has besides not yet located the 50 packets containing classified accusation astir the nuclear submarines that Jonathan said helium had taken from the Navy.

One of her lawyers, Edward MacMahon argued she should beryllium released on bail with conditions specified arsenic determination monitoring, which would let her to attraction for her 2 young children—which she shares with Jonathan—while ineligible proceedings are active.

Prosecutors reason that she is simply a formation hazard and whitethorn beryllium capable to entree the missing $100,000 and 5,000 pages of classified atomic sub accusation which she could past merchantability to different country.

The mates remains successful national custody pending trial.

Katabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is simply a newsman presently based successful Turkey. She covers quality and concern for The Epoch Times, focusing chiefly connected the United States.