Local Naval Engineer Arrested for Selling Top Secret Information

Jonathan Toebbe, a nuclear engineer for the U.S. Navy, has been charged for attempting to sell classified information on submarine technology to other countries, along with his wife. The Toebbe’s live in Annapolis, Maryland, along with their two children. Toebbe started in the Navy in 2017 and rose to the rank of lieutenant, and then joined the Navy Reserve until December 2020, which is when the FBI started their investigation. Toebbe received access to the information he was attempting to sell while working at a government research facility in Pennsylvania. The FBI posed as representatives from a foreign country, and claims that Toebbe used high level encryption methods, but was careless when communicating and were enticed to supply the FBI with information.

This information is highly protected by the US Navy because this nuclear technology, nuclear propulsion, is powered by uranium that can be converted to nuclear weapons. The United States has shared this technology only with Britain, in 1958, until this deal with Australia in 2020. This investigation was prompted by a package full of operation manuals and an offer for a classified relationship that the FBI intercepted originally being sent to another country. The FBI complied with the message in the package, that they received in December 2020, and started an encrypted conversation with Toebbe who offered up classified Naval information in exchange for $100,000 in cryptocurrency. The FBI complied, and instructed Toebbe to leave the information at a sight in West Virginia.

At the drop site, Jonathan’s wife, Diana Toebbe, assumed the role of a lookout while Jonathan dropped off a peanut butter in a plastic bag, with an SD card hidden inside. After this drop, Mr. Toebbe received $20,000. This occurred two more times, in Pennsylvania and Virginia, where Jonathan Toebbe hid the SD card chewing gum. They continue to exchange information and cryptocurrency until the FBI had enough evidence to arrest them. Mrs. Toebbe was suspended indefinitely, where she worked as a teacher at the Key School.

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