Maryland couple facing espionage-related charges

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — A couple from Annapolis, Maryland is facing espionage-related charges after a year-long investigation by the FBI that spanned multiple states.

Jonathan and Diana Toebbe were arrested Saturday in West Virginia on charges of conspiracy to communicate restricted data and communication of restricted data, after allegedly sharing designs of nuclear-powered warships, violating the Atomic Energy Act. Prosecutors say Jonathan Toebbe worked as a nuclear engineer with the U.S. Navy.

The couple thought they were sending the secret information to a foreign agent in exchange for thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency, but really, they were communicating with an undercover FBI agent.

Court documents say Jonathan and Diana would hide SD cards inside things like peanut butter sandwiches, Band-Aid wrappers and chewing gum packages, sticking them at pre-determined drop locations in Virginia and West Virginia several times over the last few months.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia says the Toebbes are expected to make their first appearance in federal court in Martinsburg on Tuesday.

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