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a naval nuclear engineer And his wife, who was accused of attempting to pass on Navy secrets to a foreign government, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of national security.

Jonathan and Diana Tobe filed their petition in the West Virginia federal courtroom.

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Both were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday on national security charges. The Justice Department was charged with one count each of “conspiracy to transmit restricted data” and two counts of “communication of restricted data,” the Justice Department announced in a news release Tuesday.

The couple was arrested on October 9 in West Virginia following a sting operation conducted by undercover FBI agents.

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US Navy engineer and wife accused of trying to sell nuclear submarine secrets

An unsolved criminal complaint alleges that Jonathan Tobey approached a foreign nation in April 2020 to sell US Navy submarine secrets. However, the FBI obtained documents from Toebbe and began secretly communicating with him in December.

The Toebbes hid data cards in items such as a peanut butter sandwich, a Band-Aid wrapper and a chewing gum package to obtain information that he was a foreign spy operative, officials said.

Diana Tobe is accused of “acting as a lookout” because her husband left the material.

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“Although most espionage cases do not involve peanut butter and Band-Aids, the alleged facts follow a familiar pattern: Insiders within the US government approach a foreign power to sell American secrets for money. , despite their best efforts at Tradecraft, are compromised, and – to their surprise – are later arrested,” said David Loffman, a former senior Justice Department official. told the Washington Post earlier this month.

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Prosecutors allege that Jonathan Toebe also told his contact person that he may need to leave the country at short notice.

The document quoted him as writing, “Should it ever become necessary, I will be forever grateful for your help in evacuating me and my family.” “I think unannounced travel to a secure third country with plans to meet your colleagues would be the first step. We have passports and cash set aside for this purpose.”

“Unfortunately there will always be people who will be willing to compromise the security of our country for personal gain. This is traitor, it is rare, but such persons are anti-national and they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” United Thomas Modly, a former Secretary of State for the Navy, told Granthshala News last week.

The residence of Jonathan and Diana Tobey is shown on Sunday, October 10, 2021 in Annapolis, MD, a day after neighbors told the house was searched by FBI agents.  Naval nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebe has been accused of trying to pass on information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he believed was a representative of a foreign government, But Joe turns out to be an undercover FBI agent.  His wife has also been arrested.  (AP Photo / Brian Witte)

“Our nuclear submarine force provides a significant military capability for the United States. It is both the potential and fear of our adversaries. Information concerning it must be protected — and for the most part, it is,” he said.

Granthshala News earlier this month also investigated Toeb’s social media accounts and found that Diana Tobey’s accounts had been repeatedly posted supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, including a profile picture reading, “Black Lives”. Matter” and various “resistance” accounts followed in the protest. Former President Donald Trump.

Diana Tobe is a teacher at a private key school in Annapolis, Maryland, which suspended her indefinitely following her arrest.

According to a recent interview with Granthshala News, a neighbor of the couple in Annapolis described them as calm.

“He didn’t even talk to anyone on the block,” said neighbor Jennifer McCormick. “We’ve lived here for over 20 years. They moved here in 2014 and have been up and down this block several times. And we’ll look at them and never say, hi, don’t even like catching your eye. “