FBI arrests Maryland engineer and wife for selling restricted nuclear information

According to the Justice Department, a couple from Maryland was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for trying to sell "restricted information" about the design of nuclear-powered warships.
Jonathan Toebbe (42), is a nuclear engineer with the Department of the Navy. He and his wife Diana (45), sold information for almost a year to someone they thought was a representative of another country. However, the undercover FBI agent turned out to have been Toebbe, according to the Department of Justice.


Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that the complaint alleges a plot to send information about the design of nuclear submarines to foreign nations. The FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors and the Naval Criminal Investigative Services were crucial in stopping the plot and taking the first step towards bringing the perpetrators before justice was served.

Jonathan Toebbe, an undercover FBI agent, received a package containing "restricted information" from April 2020. The package also contained instructions on how to establish a covert relationship in order to purchase additional information. According to the DOJ, Toebbe started e-mail correspondence with the FBI agent who he believed was a foreign representative.

Toebbe maintained the correspondence for several more months and reached an agreement to sell "restricted information" in return for thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrency.

Jun. Toebbe received $10,000 in cryptocurrency as a good-faith payment on June 8. According to the DOJ, Toebbe and his spouse traveled to West Virginia shortly after. There, they concealed an SD card in half of a peanut butter sandwich at a prearranged dead drop location.

The process was repeated by the couple and the FBI agent two more times: the first time on Aug. 28, and again on October 9. The couple would be paid a "good faith payment" and then a SD card was delivered to a West Virginia location. The FBI agent recovered the card and paid the couple additional money to unlock the SD card.

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The FBI arrested them on their third visit to West Virginia.


In a criminal case, the Toebbes were charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act. According to the DOJ, they will make their first appearances in federal court in Martinsburg (West Virginia) on October 12.

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Tags: News, FBI, Maryland, Nuclear Power, Nucleaer Weapons, Espionage

Original Author: Asher Notheis

Original Location: FBI arrests Maryland engineer, wife for selling nuclear information