Jonathan Toebbe Biography – Wiki
Jonathan Toebbe and Diana Toebbe are husband and wife facing espionage-related charges after authorities say they stole secrets from nuclear-powered submarines to sell to a foreign power. Jonathan Toebbe is a nuclear engineer with the United States Department of the Navy and his wife is a teacher at a private school in Maryland. They were charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act, federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the Toebbes thought they were communicating with an unidentified foreign country representative but were actually speaking with an undercover FBI agent. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: “The complaint alleges a plot to transmit information related to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation. The work of the FBI, prosecutors from the Department of Justice, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and the Department of Energy was instrumental in thwarting the plot accused in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Jonathan Toebbe is 42-years-old, and his wife is 45-years-old.
Wife & Children
Diana Toebbe has worked as a high school teacher at The Key School in Annapolis, Maryland, since August 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile. She previously taught at Kent Denver School from 2005 to 2012, she said on LinkedIn. She works as a professor of humanities, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The Key School issued a statement after Toebbe was arrested saying, “Key School is in no way connected with the investigation or any personal criminal activity involving the Toebbe. Diana Toebbe has been suspended from Key School indefinitely pending the outcome of the investigation. “The school’s principal, Matthew Nespole, added in a statement that he and the administration were” shocked and dismayed to learn of the charges. ” Nespole said the school would cooperate with the investigation.
Diana Toebbe received her BA in Anthropology from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1997. She then completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Emory University in 2005. According to the Emory website, Toebbe wrote her dissertation on “Measuring Inclusion Biases in Archaeological Skeleton Collections: A Hasanlu Case Study “.
Diana Toebbe posted about politics on Facebook and Twitter, including posts and retweets that support Democrats and oppose former President Donald Trump. She shared an image on Facebook of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg the day after her death in September 2020 with the quote: “Fight for the things that matter to you.”
She also shared her support for the Black Lives Mater movement on Facebook and changed her Facebook profile in October 2016 to outline her photo with the words: “Women can stop Trump.” She retweeted a France 4 Hillary post in 2017 speaking out against Trump’s Muslim ban after the Quebec mosque attack.
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe are California natives. He is originally from Upland, California, according to his Facebook page. Diana Smay Toebbe is originally from San Diego, according to her Facebook profile. They have two young children, a son, and a daughter, according to her Facebook page.
The Toebbes and their children live in a $ 430,000 two-story, three-bedroom home in the Hillsmere Estates neighborhood of Annapolis, according to the Baltimore Sun. A neighbor told the Sun that 15 police vehicles and 25 officers and agents raided his home on Saturday and “looted” a vehicle parked there, occupying the seats and the GPS system. FBI agents spoke to neighbors about the couple, the newspaper reports. A neighbor told the Sun that the Toebbes and their children kept to themselves.
The Toebbe participated in Renaissance fairs and dressed together, according to photos on their social media pages. Diana Toebbe’s Instagram includes photos of family vacations, her children and her pets, and one with the caption “faire” from August 2019.
Jonathan Toebbe is a former naval officer and had a top-secret security clearance, according to court documents. He works for the Department of the Navy as a nuclear engineer and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, known as Naval Reactors, the DOJ said in its press release. “He had an active national security clearance through the US Department of Defense, which gave him access to restricted data. Toebbe worked with and had access to information related to naval nuclear propulsion, including information related to sensitive military design elements, operating parameters, and performance characteristics of reactors for nuclear-powered warships, ”said the Justice Department.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Toebbe attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated in 2011 with degrees in physics and mathematics. He then earned a master of science in physics from Emory in 2004 and a master of science in nuclear engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 2012. He was a graduate fellow at Nuclear Energy University Partnerships, sponsored by the US Department of Energy. ., from 2010 to 2012 while studying there.
Toebbe previously served as an adjunct professor and laboratory instructor at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College, as a physical science professor in Cobb County, Georgia, and as a physics professor at Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colorado. He has worked for the Navy since 2012 in the Washington D.C. area.
According to his LinkedIn profile him while working on naval reactors, Toebbe, “oversees the performance of core physical tests aboard newly built and operating submarines and aircraft carriers. He coordinates with government contractors, shipyard personnel, and the ship’s force to ensure the safety, performance, and on-time delivery of the reactor. ”He said he is the“ technical leader for the nuclear design of COLUMBIA-class submarines. He manages a multi-million dollar technical work program to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of the design products necessary to validate reactor safety and performance. ”Toebbe added that he is a“ fleet support engineer for central physics. A subject matter expert working in a multidisciplinary team to respond to the time-critical technical challenges faced by ships deployed around the world. ”
The Navy told the Baltimore Sun that Toebbe began his military career in 2012 in Denver, studying at the Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island. He was a Virginia and Pittsburgh-based nuclear engineering officer and left active duty in 2017 as a lieutenant. He was in the Navy Reserves until December 2020 as a human resources officer before retiring in December 2020, according to the Sun.
Concealed SD Cards in a Peanut Butter Sandwich
The Justice Department said in a press release that Jonathan Toebbe and Diana Toebbe “sold information known as Restricted Data on the Design of Nuclear-Powered Warships to a person they believed was representative of a foreign power. In reality, that person was an undercover FBI agent. “According to prosecutors, the Toebbes was arrested on October 9 in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS).
According to prosecutors, Jonathan Toebbe first contacted a foreign government, which is not mentioned in the complaint on April 1, 2021, and sent a package with a return address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The package contained “a sample of Restricted Data and instructions to establish a covert relationship to purchase additional Restricted Data,” prosecutors said. The affidavit also alleges that, thereafter, Toebbe began to correspond via encrypted email with a person who he believed was a representative of the foreign government. The individual was actually an undercover FBI agent. Jonathan Toebbe continued this correspondence for several months, leading to a deal to sell restricted data in exchange for thousands of dollars in cryptocurrencies. ”
Jonathan Toebbe received $ 10,000 in cryptocurrency from the undercover agent on June 8, 2021, in “good faith,” prosecutors said, and on June 26, he and his wife went to West Virginia. Prosecutors said Diana Toebbe acted as a lookout while Jonathan Toebbe “placed a hidden SD card inside the middle of a peanut butter sandwich at a preset location.”
Prosecutors added: “After recovering the SD card, the undercover agent sent Jonathan Toebbe a cryptocurrency payment of $ 20,000. In return, Jonathan Toebbe emailed the undercover agent a decryption key for the SD card. A review of the SD card revealed that it contained restricted data related to undersea nuclear reactors. “Jonathan Toebbe then concealed an SD card in a packet of gum and made a” dead drop “to the undercover agent in eastern Virginia on November 28. August, prosecutors said.
“After making a payment to Toebbe of $ 70,000 in crypto, the FBI received a decryption key for the card. It also contained restricted data related to undersea nuclear reactors. The FBI arrested Jonathan and Diana Toebbe on October 9, after they placed another SD card in a preset “deadlock” at the second location in West Virginia, prosecutors said. The full criminal complaint can be read here. Prosecutors did not say whether they believe they know the motive for the case.
Charged & Arrested
Jonathan Toebbe is a nuclear engineer with the United States Department of the Navy and his wife is a teacher at a private school in Maryland. They were charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act on October 9, 2021, federal prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the Toebbes thought they were communicating with an unidentified foreign country representative but were actually speaking with an undercover FBI agent. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: “The complaint alleges a plot to transmit information related to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation. The work of the FBI, prosecutors from the Department of Justice, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and the Department of Energy was instrumental in thwarting the plot accused in the complaint and taking this first step to bring the perpetrators to justice. ”
Jonathan Toebbe approached the foreign government in April 2020 in an attempt to start a covert relationship to sell the restricted information, but the country reported the contact to the FBI, federal prosecutors said. The Toebbe received a payment of $ 10,000 in cryptocurrency from the undercover agent as part of the investigation and made multiple “dead turns” to deliver the top-secret documents related to the nuclear-powered warships, according to the criminal complaint.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and Diana Toebbe, 45, who live in Annapolis, Maryland, were arrested in West Virginia on October 9 and remain in custody pending their first federal court hearing on Tuesday, October 12. maximum sentence of life in prison or death, federal authorities said. It was not immediately clear whether Jonathan and Diana Toebbe hired an attorney who could comment on their behalf.
Jonathan Toebbe and Diana Toebbe are scheduled to make their first federal court appearance before Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Prosecutors filed detain motions for both Toebbes, asking a federal judge will keep them in custody until trial.
The October 11 filings in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia by Assistant United States Attorney Jarod Douglas say the couple is eligible for pretrial detention because they are charged with “a crime for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, “there is a” serious risk of the accused fleeing “and a” serious risk of obstruction of justice. “Prosecutors said they should be detained because there are no conditions for pre-trial release that “Secure the appearance of the defendant as necessary.” Douglas requested detention hearings for the Toebbe no more than three days after their initial appearances.
The Justice Department said in its press release: “Trial Attorneys Matthew J. McKenzie and S. Derek Shugert of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Division of Homeland Security, Assistant United States Attorneys Jarod J. Douglas and Lara Omps-Botteicher for the Northern District of West Virginia and Assistant US Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar for the Western District of Pennsylvania are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The FBI and NCIS are investigating the case. ”