A couple U.S She was arrested in West Virginia on charges of selling information about nuclear ships to what she believes to be a foreign country, the Justice Department reported Sunday.
For almost a year, the couple “Sold information known and restricted data on ship design nuclear to a person who, it is believed, represented a foreign country “adds the statement. The recipient was an undercover FBI agent.
Jonathan Toebbe, who through his work had access to restricted data on nuclear-powered warships, collaborated with his wife to provide data on reactors nuclear from submarines in exchange for $ 100,000 in cryptocurrencies, it is indicated in an affidavit included in the complaint.
In April 2020 Toebbe mailed a package to a foreign government that contained “A sample of restricted data and instructions to establish a clandestine relationship”, according to that document.
The complaint says that the FBI intercepted the package and an undercover agent pretended to be a representative of that foreign government in order to establish a relationship with the couple.
The agent sent to Jonathan Toebbe, who used the pseudonym Alice, an email offering her a gift as a thank you for the data. However, Toebee responded cautiously and asked instead to establish a delivery location and charge in cryptocurrencies.
In the following months, the couple transferred multiple SD cards with data to the agent. In the first installment “The SD card was wrapped in plastic between the bread slices of a peanut butter sandwich,” stated the agent in the complaint.
Other cards were hidden in a bubble gum packet and a Band Aid wrapper with the included ribbon.
The couple, both in their 40s, were arrested on Saturday while handing over another SD card.
United States Attorney General Merrick Garland praised the agencies that participated in “Disrupt the plot” and take “the first step to bring criminals to justice”Says the statement.
The Defense Department declined to comment on the news when contacted by AFP.
The couple will appear in West Virginia federal court Tuesday.
The submarines Americans moved to nuclear power recently came into the limelight when Australia and Britain unveiled a new defense contract secretly negotiated over several months.
To close that deal, Australia broke an already agreed multi-million dollar purchase of submarines French conventions, which unleashed a serious diplomatic problem both between Canberra and Paris and between the French government and Washington.