Photo: Mark A. Leonesio / US Navy / Getty Images
A nuclear engineer from the United States Navy was accused by try to sell information on the design of US nuclear powered submarines a representative of a foreign government, but it turned out to be an ambush, and the information was received by undercover FBI agents.
The United States Department of Justice reported that the accused identified as Jonathan Toebbe sold information for most of 2020 to a contact who thought he represented a foreign power, although the country was not identified in the documents.
The judicial report detailed that in December of last year, one of the investigating FBI agents intercepted a package with a sender from Pittsburgh with secrets from the US Navy, with instructions to contact the alleged informant.
This letter asked him to share that content with the foreign country’s intelligence agency, concluding the letter with the phrase “This is not a joke”.
FBI agents posed as foreign spies and contacted Toebbe, and they proposed to hold a meeting, which did not proceed because the engineer considered it as “Very risky” for his life.
After several attempts, the investigator agreed to a personal transfer of the information on nuclear submarines. and agreed to meet on June 26, but before the meeting, Toebbe received payment of $ 10,000 in cryptocurrencies, and he went with his wife, who was in charge of monitoring the exchange.
The moment FBI agents opened the package, they were surprised to see a peanut butter sandwich, but that inside contained a 16 gig USB It contained information on the design and technical specifications of American nuclear submarines.
The encounters continued, and the payments received by the “informant” increased even more, to the point of receiving $ 70,000 in cryptocurrencies.
However, during the third appointment that was held this Saturday in a “stalemate” in West Virginia, the two people were arrested.
The court report concluded that trial attorneys for the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the Division of Homeland Security, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Northern District of West Virginia, and the Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania are prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. government, while the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) they continue in the investigations of the case.
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