The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and The Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) has arrested a nuclear engineer and his husband on espionage charges, a complaint from Department of Justice said. The nuclear engineer, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, was hired by the US Navy and had an active national security clearance, the complaint said.
The couple is accused of violating the Atomic Energy Act. Naval engineer Jonathan Toby has been assigned to the Navy Nuclear engine The program, also called Naval Reactors, had access to information related to the design elements, operating parameters and performance of reactors for nuclear-powered warships, the complaint said.
On April 1, 2020, Toebbe, according to the complaint, sent a package to a foreign government with a sample of militarily sensitive limited data. Toebbe also communicates via encrypted email with an individual who he says is a representative of a foreign government, but is in fact an undercover FBI agent.
After months of correspondence, on June 8, 2021, the agent sent a “bona fide” payment of $ 10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe, after which the engineer and his wife Diane traveled to West Virginia. As Diane acted as an observer, Jonathan placed an SD card inside a dead-end peanut butter sandwich. After receiving the card, the agent sent Jonathan a cryptocurrency worth $ 20,000, after which Jonathan sent the encryption key to unlock the card details.
After reviewing that the SD card contains limited data related to underwater nuclear reactors, the agent paid another $ 70,000 cryptocurrency to obtain and decrypt another SD card, this time in East Virginia, which also contains information on underwater nuclear reactors.
Jonathan and his wife were arrested on Oct. 9 after setting the stage for another similar downturn scheduled for Jefferson County, West Virginia. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, “The work of the FBI, the Attorney General’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service and the Department of Energy has been crucial in thwarting the plot accused in the complaint and taking this first step to bring the perpetrators to justice. before justice. “