Jonathan Tobey sold the design of the nuclear-powered warship to a foreign official who was a secret FBI agent.
A U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Without court records on Sunday, Jonathan Toebe and his wife, Diana Toebe, were arrested on charges of violating nuclear power laws after trying to sell the design of a nuclear-powered warship and were accused of representing a foreign power.
The department said Toebe, who obtained the security clearance, unknowingly contacted FBI agents and maintained sensitive military secrecy, within a year-long scheme.
In December 2020, an FBI official received a package from someone trying to establish a “secret relationship” with a representative abroad, identified only as “Country 1” in court documents.
Toebbe listed a return address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with instructions to establish a confidential relationship to obtain limited data samples and additional information.
He began correspondence via encrypted email with a man he believed to be a representative of a foreign government, who was instead a spy FBI agent, and continued correspondence for months before reaching a multibillion-dollar exchange agreement.
The secret spy agent sent Tobey ক্র 10,000 in cryptocurrency to pay “honest trust” money before he agreed to travel to a location in West Virginia to complete the transaction. While his wife works as a watchdog, he hid an SD card in a peanut butter sandwich in a predetermined “dead drop” location.
Spy agent Jonathan Tobe sent a $ 20,000 cryptocurrency payment and received a decryption key on the SD card in exchange, which contained information confined to U.S. submarine nuclear reactors.
The FBI arrested Tobey and his wife after two more “dead drops” on Saturday.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland welcomed the arrest. “The work of the FBI, the Judiciary Prosecutor, the Naval Crime Investigation Service and the Department of Energy was crucial in foiling the alleged conspiracy and taking the first steps to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
Toebbe was an employee of the Naval-Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval-Response, and had access to information on military sensitive design components, operating parameters and performance characteristics of nuclear-powered warship reactors.
The couple was charged with conspiracy to cause limited data and limited data communication and is scheduled to appear in federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Tuesday.