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Navy engineer’s wife ordered detained in submarine secrets spy case

  • October 23, 2021

The wife of a Navy engineer, both of whom have been charged with attempting to sell classified information about nuclear-powered submarines in the U.S. fleet to a foreign country, was ordered detained pending trial after a federal magistrate found that she posed a continuing danger to national security and a risk of flight.

While Diana Toebbe has no criminal record, U.S. Magistrate Robert Trumble concluded that the case against her was “strong,” citing evidence that she accompanied her husband, Jonathan Toebbe, on drops of classified information at three locations earlier this year.

The Maryland couple, according to court documents, believed they were trading information to a yet-undisclosed foreign nation when they were actually communicating and acting at the direction of an undercover FBI agent.

More:FBI: Navy engineer, wife sought $5 million, had ‘go bag’ packed in nuclear submarine espionage case

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“The weight of the evidence against Defendant Diana Toebbe is strong,” Trumble wrote Thursday, a day after the couple appeared in a West Virginia federal court where they pleaded not guilty.

As part the order, Trumble referred to Jonathan Toebbe’s alleged correspondence with the undercover FBI agent, who asked if the engineer was working alone.

“There is only one other person I know is aware of our special relationship, and I trust that person absolutely,” Toebbe said, apparently referring to his wife.

Jonathan Toebbe did not challenge a detention order earlier this week, but attorneys for his wife suggested that their client knew nothing about her husband’s actions and asked that she be released to her Annapolis, Md., home with a electronic monitoring device.

Trumble denied that request, referring to the serious nature of the charges – they both face maximum punishments of life in prison if convicted – and that federal authorities had yet to locate thousands of pages of classified information that Jonathan Toebbe allegedly offered to sell.

“Defense counsel presented no evidence or testimony but argued that

electronic monitoring, a third-party custodian, and no computer or internet

access would suffice to prevent Defendant from fleeing,” Trumble wrote. “The Court is

unconvinced.”

In addition, federal prosecutors said Wednesday that they had not yet recovered $100,000 that the FBI had paid the couple in cryptocurrency during the months-long undercover investigation.

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/670498504/0/usatodaycomwashington-topstories~Navy-engineers-wife-ordered-detained-in-submarine-secrets-spy-case/

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