WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors requested that a naval engineer remain in custody Monday because they continue to accuse him, among other things, of selling submarine secrets to foreign governments.
Jonathan Toebbe was scheduled to appear in West Virginia federal court on Tuesday. His detention memorandum was submitted before that. Diana Toebbe, Toebbe’s spouse, was also detained on Saturday by the Justice Department.
Jonathan Toby was accused in passing information regarding the design of the advanced Virginia class submarine to people he thought to be representing foreign governments, but who were actually FBI undercover agents. The court documents did not reveal the identity of this country.
According to the document Toby reached out to a foreign country to obtain information about the submarine and instructions for maintaining a secret conversation. The FBI obtained the package that he had sent eight months later. Toebbe was reached by the FBI via an undercover agent. He agreed to pay cryptocurrency in exchange for government secrets.
According to the FBI Toby stored sensitive documents on memory cards in prearranged “dead places”, hiding them in peanut butter sandwiches and gum packaging. According to court documents, Diana Toby was present at Toby’s many airdrop operations, including as a watchman.
It isn’t clear if Toebbes is represented by a lawyer.
The prosecutor marked the box in the detention memorandum to indicate that they thought the Torbay family was at high risk of fleeing and obstructing justice. They also checked the box to indicate that the prosecution under the Atomic Energy Act involves “crimes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or the death penalty”.
Toebbe, 42, is an ex-Naval Officer and holds a top security clearance. Since 2012, Toebbe has been working on nuclear propulsion projects for naval submarines. Toebbe was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (also known as the Naval Reactor).
His 45-year old wife was a teacher of humanities at Key School, Annapolis, for 10 years.