Couple Jailed for Plotting to Sell U.S. Nuclear Secrets Hidden in Peanut Butter Sandwich

A U.S. Navy engineer and his better half have been condemned to prison for trying to offer delicate military mysteries to an unnamed foreign government, including one instance where they concealed official reports inside a peanut spread sandwich. On Wednesday, Jonathan Toebbe and his significant other, Diana Toebbe, were condemned to over 19 years and nearly 22 years in prison, separately, after they both conceded to conspiracy earlier this year, according to the U.S. Department of Equity.

Jonathan, 44, recently served as a nuclear engineer with the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval Reactors, per the DOJ. Diana, 46, was a private-school teacher in their old neighborhood of Annapolis, Maryland, according to The Washington Post.

During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Gina Groh refered to the “great danger” the couple presented to U.S. security and said the pair’s story “reads like a wrongdoing novel or a film script,” per the Associated Press. Groh added that Jonathan’s “actions and voracious self-serving intentions placed military help individuals at sea and each resident of this country in a vulnerable position and at risk of harm from adversaries.”

However Jonathan had access to the delicate data through his work, the Post detailed that Diana was handed a longer sentence on the grounds that the adjudicator found she deterred equity and was not qualified for a more limited prison stint for accepting responsibility.

The AP also revealed that Diana attempted to send her husband two letters from jail, which were intercepted, where one encouraged him to lie about her involvement.

Per the DOJ, which refered to court reports, Jonathan recently sent a package to an unnamed foreign government that contained a sample of confined data and instructions on the best way to establish a relationship to purchase more mysteries. After messaging through scrambled email with someone he accepted to be a representative of the foreign government — who was actually a secret FBI agent — Jonathan continued communicating with them for several months before a deal was struck to sell confined data for thousands of dollars in digital money, the DOJ said.

In June 2021, after the FBI agent sent $10,000 to Jonathan as a “completely pure intentions” payment, per the DOJ, Jonathan conveyed a SD card at a coordinated location that contained military-delicate plan components relating to submarine nuclear reactors. The thing was concealed within half a peanut spread sandwich, the DOJ said.

After the spy obtained the SD card, they sent Jonathan a $20,000 digital money payment, which incited him to then email the agent a decryption key for the SD Card.

Months later, Jonathan dropped off another SD card, which was concealed inside a pack of chewing gum.

After the FBI agent made a $70,000 payment, they got another decryption key and discovered that card had similar limited data on it as well.

The FBI then arrested Jonathan and Diana on Oct. 9, 2021, after he placed a further SD card at a set up spot in West Virginia, according to the DOJ. During the sentencing hearing, Jonathan said, per the Post, that he trusted his family “was in critical threat, that democracy itself was nearly collapse. And that kind of catastrophic thinking overpowered me.”

The power source noticed that the couple, who have two sons ages 12 and 16, were attempting to leave the U.S. and a FBI search of their home found various things, including passports for their youngsters, thousands of dollars in cash, destroyed records and a bag containing a flash drive and latex gloves.  “I failed in my responsibility to the American nation to protect the insider facts that were endowed with me,” Jonathan said at sentencing, per the Post, while Diana stated: “I ought to have followed my instinct and attempted to talk my husband out of this plan, however at that point my family’s challenges continued, my depression was at an all-time high, and I felt like the country’s political situation was critical.”

She added: “I didn’t simply fail to talk him out of it; I actually participated in helping him, and I wanted him to succeed. At the time, I absurdly thought it was a way out of these battles.”

Nicholas J. Compton, Jonathan’s public protector, didn’t immediately respond to Individuals’ solicitation for input. A lawyer for Diana couldn’t immediately be reached.

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