Couple Arrested For Trying to Sell U.S. Nuclear Secrets to FBI

WEST VIRGINIA REGIONAL JAIL AND CORRECTIONAL FACILITY AUTHORITY VIA AP

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A Maryland husband and wife tried to go nuclear, but unbeknownst to them, they were dealing with an undercover FBI agent.

The crime? Trying to selling secrets about nuclear warships.

And now, each has been sentenced to at least 19 years in federal prison. Husband Jonathan Toebbe, 44, was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months. His wife, Diana Toebbe, 46, was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months. Each was also fined about $50,000.

The couple was originally arrested in Jefferson County, W.Va., after Jonathan had sold military secrets to an undercover agent on multiple occasions. He actually assumed he was speaking to a foreign government official — and exchanging key information on Special Nuclear Material for cryptocurrency.

Couple Arrested For Trying to Sell U.S. Nuclear Secrets to FBI

The Toebbes are from Maryland but drove to West Virginia to make a “drop” of SD cards for $100,000. They did it twice — once hiding the card in a peanut butter sandwich. Then inside a pack of gum, per court documents.

On a the third drop, however, they were arrested.

“If not for the remarkable efforts of FBI agents, the sensitive data stolen by Mr. Toebbe could have ended up in the hands of an adversary of the United States and put the safety of our military and our nation at risk,” said U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld in a release from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of West Virginia. “The FBI keeps American citizens safe from enemies both foreign and domestic and this case is an excellent reminder of their important work.”

“The Toebbes were willing to compromise the security of the nation by selling information related to naval nuclear propulsion systems. They are now being held accountable for their actions,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall.

Read More: Two Women Arrested For Smuggling Cocaine Inside Their Hair Extensions

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