Charges Against Navy Engineer for Attempted Leak of Intel in Peanut Butter Sandwich

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Kabar Medsos – Court documents say Jonathan Toebbe began passing restricted details about Navy submarines to a person he believed was a foreign agent.

A Navy engineer accused of hiding restricted information about nuclear-powered submarines in a peanut butter sandwich faces espionage-related charges, according to federal court documents unsealed Sunday.

The man, Jonathan Toebbe, 42, was arrested Saturday in West Virginia on suspicion of conspiracy to communicate restricted data and other crimes, federal prosecutors in the state’s northern district said in a statement.

His wife, Diana Toebbe, 45, a teacher in Maryland, was arrested on allegations that she assisted him.

A criminal complaint alleges that Toebbe — who began working with the Navy in 2012 — sent a package containing military documents and other files to a military intelligence agency in the country he was trying to establish a relationship with.

The package wound up with an FBI attaché in the country, which is not identified, the complaint says.

Beginning in February, an undercover FBI agent began emailing Toebbe — who is alleged to have used the moniker “Alice” — through an encrypted messaging service, according to the complaint, which says that in the following months, he provided the agent with documents containing restricted details about Virginia-class submarines, which are nuclear-powered fast attack warships.

On June 26, FBI agents watched Toebbe leave what was alleged to be an SD card that had been wrapped in plastic and placed in a peanut butter sandwich at a “dead drop” location in West Virginia, according to the complaint. During a separate drop, he used a Band-Aid wrapper and a plastic bag to hide an SD card, it says.

The documents accuse Diana Toebbe of helping conduct surveillance to determine whether they were being followed.

By Aug. 28, the FBI had paid Jonathan Toebbe $100,000 in Monero, a cryptocurrency, the documents say. The next day, he sent an email thanking the person he believed was a foreign agent for their partnership, the documents allege.

“One day, when it is safe, perhaps two old friends will have a chance to stumble into each other at a cafe, share a bottle of wine and laugh over stories of their shared exploits,” he is alleged to have written, adding: “I will always remember your bravery in serving your country and your commitment to helping me.”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Toebbes have attorneys. Federal court records did not list them.

The couple are scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday in Martinsburg, West Virginia.


Kabar Medsos – Dokumen pengadilan mengatakan Jonathan Toebbe mulai memberikan rincian terbatas tentang kapal selam Angkatan Laut kepada seseorang yang dia yakini sebagai agen asing.

Seorang insinyur Angkatan Laut yang dituduh menyembunyikan informasi terbatas tentang kapal selam bertenaga nuklir di sandwich selai kacang menghadapi tuduhan terkait spionase, menurut dokumen pengadilan federal yang dibuka pada hari Minggu.

Pria itu, Jonathan Toebbe, 42, ditangkap Sabtu di West Virginia atas dugaan konspirasi untuk mengomunikasikan data terlarang dan kejahatan lainnya, kata jaksa federal di distrik utara negara bagian itu dalam sebuah pernyataan.

Istrinya, Diana Toebbe, 45, seorang guru di Maryland, ditangkap atas tuduhan bahwa dia membantunya.

Sebuah pengaduan pidana menuduh bahwa Toebbe – yang mulai bekerja dengan Angkatan Laut pada 2012 – mengirim paket berisi dokumen militer dan file lainnya ke badan intelijen militer di negara yang dia coba jalin hubungan.

Paket itu berakhir dengan atase FBI di negara itu, yang tidak diidentifikasi, kata pengaduan itu.

Mulai Februari, seorang agen FBI yang menyamar mulai mengirim email kepada Toebbe — yang diduga telah menggunakan nama panggilan “Alice” — melalui layanan pesan terenkripsi, menurut pengaduan tersebut, yang mengatakan bahwa pada bulan-bulan berikutnya, ia memberi agen tersebut dokumen yang berisi rincian terbatas tentang kapal selam kelas Virginia, yang merupakan kapal perang serangan cepat bertenaga nuklir.

Pada tanggal 26 Juni, agen FBI menyaksikan Toebbe meninggalkan apa yang diduga sebagai kartu SD yang telah dibungkus plastik dan ditempatkan di sandwich selai kacang di lokasi “dead drop” di West Virginia, menurut pengaduan. Selama pengiriman terpisah, dia menggunakan pembungkus Band-Aid dan kantong plastik untuk menyembunyikan kartu SD, katanya.

Dokumen tersebut menuduh Diana Toebbe membantu melakukan pengawasan untuk menentukan apakah mereka diikuti.

Pada 28 Agustus, FBI telah membayar Jonathan Toebbe $100.000 dalam bentuk Monero, sebuah cryptocurrency, kata dokumen tersebut. Keesokan harinya, dia mengirim email berterima kasih kepada orang yang dia yakini sebagai agen asing untuk kemitraan mereka, dokumen menuduh.

“Suatu hari, ketika aman, mungkin dua teman lama akan memiliki kesempatan untuk bertemu satu sama lain di kafe, berbagi sebotol anggur dan menertawakan cerita tentang eksploitasi bersama mereka,” dia diduga telah menulis, menambahkan: “Saya akan selalu mengingat keberanian Anda dalam melayani negara Anda dan komitmen Anda untuk membantu saya.”

Tidak segera jelas apakah keluarga Toebbes memiliki pengacara. Catatan pengadilan federal tidak mencantumkannya.

Pasangan itu dijadwalkan muncul di pengadilan federal Selasa di Martinsburg, Virginia Barat.

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