Jonathan Toebbe Wiki – Jonathan Toebbe Biography
Navy nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebe, 42, and his wife, Diana Toebe, 45, were charged Saturday with selling secret information to an unidentified foreign country. A U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been charged with selling secret information about nuclear submarines to an undercover FBI agent posing as a foreign country operative, the Justice Department said Sunday. In a criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges against Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and his wife Diana, 45, the government said it sold information for almost the past year to a representative of a foreign power.
The FBI says that in April 2020 Toebbe sent a package of Navy documents to a foreign government and wrote that he was interested in selling information on Virginia-class nuclear submarine reactors. The unidentified foreign government sat on the documents before handing them over to the United States in December 2020, after the elections. Toebbe was arrested in West Virginia on Saturday along with his wife, a teacher, after they placed a removable memory card in a preset “deadlock” in the state, according to the Justice Department.
Toebbe has served the military as a civilian since 2017 and was originally part of the Navy on active duty. He has worked on naval nuclear propulsion since 2012, including technology designed to reduce noise and vibration from submarines, which can give away their location.
Diane Toebbe And Jonathan Toebbe were charged Saturday with selling secret information
He hid encrypted memory cards, a peanut butter sandwich, a packet of gum, and a band-aid wrapper. Toebbe worked for 15 months in the office of the chief of naval operations, the senior officer of the military branch. He has worked on naval nuclear propulsion since 2012, including secret technology devised to reduce noise and vibration from submarines, factors that can give away their location.
Toebbe stated in a message that he hoped the foreign government would be able to separate him and his family from him if they ever tracked him down, saying “we have passports and cash reserved for this purpose.” Authorities say he gave instructions on how to carry out the cunning affair, with a letter saying: “I apologize for this poor translation into his language.” He sent this letter to his military intelligence agency. I think this information will be of great value to his nation. This is not a joke. ”
An undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of a foreign government contacted Toebbe and agreed to pay thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency for the information he was offering. The emails show that Toebbe was cautious at first, but that he came to trust the undercover agent due to the large amount they paid him. It was agreed that he would receive $ 100.00 in cryptocurrency and he was paid $ 70,000 before he was caught.
The FBI also organized a “signal” to Toebbe from the country’s embassy in Washington on Memorial Day weekend. The documents do not describe how the FBI was able to organize such a signal. In June 2021, the FBI says, the undercover agent sent $ 10,000 worth of cryptocurrency to Toebbe, describing it as a sign of good faith and trust.
Weeks later, federal agents saw Toebbe arrive at an agreed-upon location in West Virginia for the exchange, and Diana Toebbe appeared to serve as her husband’s watchdog during a dead-end operation for which the FBI paid $ 20,000, according to the complaint. . . The FBI recovered a blue memory card wrapped in plastic and placed it between two slices of bread in a peanut butter sandwich, according to court documents.
The FBI provided the contents of the memory card to a Navy subject matter expert who determined that the records included design elements and performance characteristics of the Virginia-class submarine reactors, the Justice Department said. Similar exchanges were carried out by the FBI in the coming months, including one in August in Virginia in which Toebbe was paid approximately $ 70,000 and a memory card with schematic designs for the submarine was hidden in a packet of gum. Virginia class, according to court documents.
One memory card included a typewritten message that read, in part: “I hope your experts are very happy with the sample provided and I understand the importance of a small exchange to increase our confidence.” Many of the emails that were exchanged between Toebbe and the representative of the foreign country were transcribed into court documents. She used two pseudonyms: Alice Hill and Bob Burns. The messages suggest that Toebbe was offering the classified information to a power that already has nuclear submarines.
Toebbe says in a message that the information “reflects decades of lessons learned from the United States Navy.” That will help keep the sailors safe from her. “Only six countries currently operate nuclear-powered submarines: China, France, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The United States and the United Kingdom are ready to supply Australia. the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, as part of the first initiative of the new trilateral security association AUKUS.
Before the new deal, which sparked a diplomatic row between Washington and Paris, the United States had only shared its underwater technology with Britain. Each of these underwater vessels cost an estimated $ 3 billion to build. According to the public records of the Navy, she worked for 15 months in the office of the chief of naval operations, the highest officer in the military branch.
Since 2012, Toebbe has worked for the Navy and obtained high-level clearances in nuclear engineering. Toebbe began working in the military as a civilian in 2017. He was commissioned into the Navy and rose to the rank of Lieutenant before moving on to Navy Rescue, which he left in December 2020, the month the FBI contacted him. According to court documents, he has worked on naval nuclear propulsion since 2012, including technology designed to reduce noise and vibration from submarines, factors that can give away his location.
He also worked at Naval Reactors in Arlington, Virginia, from 2012 to 2014. He was then a student at the Naval Reactor School in Pittsburgh before returning to Arlington to work on reactors again. The complaint alleges violations of the Atomic Energy Law, which restricts the disclosure of information related to atomic weapons or nuclear materials. It’s unclear how many counts the couple, who have two children and live in Annapolis, Maryland, face. However, espionage carries a maximum sentence of ten years under US law.
Diana Toebbe is a professor of humanities at Key School, a private school in Annapolis. The K-12 school said Sunday that she had been suspended indefinitely. The FBI also stated that Toebbe would only have had access to documents that she allegedly shared with the undercover FBI agent while working at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, a government research facility in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
The Toebbes are expected to have their first court appearance Tuesday in Martinsburg, West Virginia. No one responded at Toebbe’s residence Sunday afternoon in an Annapolis community along the South River. The outside light was on over the door of his house and a dog was barking inside. John Cooley, who lives across the street from the Toebes, said he had more than 30 FBI agents on his block as of 2:30 p.m. Saturday. until after dark. He said officers entered the home.
Jerry LaFleur, a neighbor of Toebbe, said that he would occasionally give up on the Toebbe, but the only time they spoke was when they asked permission to prune weeds on the family’s side of the backyard fence they share. “He seemed like a nice, normal guy, nothing that would make me think twice,” LaFleur said.
It was not immediately clear if the Toebbes, who are from Annapolis, Maryland, have attorneys. The Navy declined to comment with the Associated Press on Sunday. Toebbe’s arrest has already been compared to Jonathan Pollard, a former US intelligence analyst who served 30 years in jail for selling naval secrets to Israel. He is the only American in US history to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally, and the only one to serve more than 10 years in prison for the crime. Both Diana and Jonathan Toebbe are scheduled to appear in federal court in West Virginia on Tuesday.